Over the past few months of my presidency of Waikato Sunrise Rotary, we have seen some very exciting things happen. Unfortunately these events float beneath the radar and the Club does not get to appreciate the efforts the Directors make and also the efforts the Club is making in general.

The Directors of Waikato Sunrise work strenuously to help the Club deliver its promises and obligations. So, in no particular order these are some of the things that the Club has been involved with over the past few months.

Cardiac Defibrillators. (AED).

WSR has obtained a district grant to fund 50% of the purchase of a defibrillator. The AED has been delivered and it will be located within the Ferry Bank building. I have talked to the management of Kerr and Ladbrook about a specific location. There is an App available that details the location of AED's in the area and we will ensure that the Ferry Bank AED is put in this App. The AED has come with a cabinet. I will arrange with St Johns (supplier of the AED) to provide a Saturday morning course on familiarisation with the AED's and this course will be available to all members of Waikato Sunrise as well as the staff of Kerr and Ladbrook. Hopefully this will be in May or June.

Emergency Resource Kit:

Waikato Sunrise has funded an Emergency Resource Kit (ERK) as well as a Shelter Box. We          have funded one of each and they will go into a pool of kits available as and when necessary, for emergencies throughout the world..


The Club has not been involved with a ROMAC candidate this year but one candidate from the Pacific Islands has been considered for surgery on her femur in the not too distant future. The candidate has a non-union of the bone as well as marked infection. Hopefully the Club will help support this person and their family whilst they endeavour to have the infected and fractured leg mended by Richard Willoughby, orthopaedic surgeon. Because there is such a profound infection in the femur it will take a long time (months) to correct.


Elsa is in her third quarter of her stay in New Zealand. She is staying with Ross and Jane Hargood at present and will stay with Mitch and Catherine Smith in a month or so.

Libby Gairdner is her counsellor and I appreciate the efforts Libby is making to make Elsa comfortable in this country and for her pastoral care. Mitchell Smith is the Chairman of the Youth Committee.

Balloons Over Waikato:

Balloons Over Waikato is on from the 22nd March, until the 25th 2017. Geoff Tizard has done a complete and thorough job preparing this Club and other Clubs for the Balloons activities. We owe him a great debt of gratitude for this. There are still some spaces for volunteers in the Night Glow afternoon event on the Saturday and hopefully other Rotary Clubs will become involved with this.

Rugby and Montana:

There have been two or three rugby games this year and we can appreciate the efforts that Gary Robertson is making in organising the volunteers for rugby to sell beer at the beer tents and liaison with Montana.

It appears the rugby is successful, however I think there have been some difficulties in finding enough volunteers in the Club to man all the tents. This is disappointing as one of the themes that I get told by members is that they "want a project". However, some of the members are not being involved in the rugby despite desires for a “project”. This is a project in itself as it leads to the funding of other activities such as the Fiji project, Shelter Box, ROMAC, RYLA etc etc.


We have three main avenues of fundraising. These are 1) Montana rugby, 2) Balloons Over Waikato and 3) Circus Quirkus.

Rugby and Balloons require a marked club presence, but they do raise significant amount of funds, that can then be transferred on to our altruistic endeavours, e.g. Fiji, ROMAC, Dictionaries in Schools, etc.

Police Person of the Year

Was on the 17 March 2017, and Waikato Sunrise had a significant involvement with this. The Police Person of the Year was Senior Constable Craig Berquist, for his efforts in neighbourhood policing.  We will have him come to the club to receive a cheque that then will be donated to his charity of choice. Raewyn Kirkman is the representative of the area Clubs and presented him with the prize and award on 17 March 2017. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/90557258/police-officers-rewarded-for-efforts-in-arresting-armed-man-during-supermarket-struggle


Mitchell Smith is the Director of the Youth Committee. He has selected six people (three more than budgeted for) to go on the RYLA experience. He believes that all six are wonderful candidates for the award and they will benefit significantly from this.


The relationship with Hamilton City Council was to help to prepare the riverbank for further work to be done and to help organise it. We have ended up doing a lot of the physical work (weeding, gardening and moving bark), which is not what we signed up for. The cost/benefit of this is minimal and I believe that until the City Council comes up with a better use of our time and energy, we should place this scheme in hibernation.

Hamilton Gardens Playground:

Waikato Sunrise has contributed to the erection of umbrellas in the Hamilton Gardens Children's Playground. The club has been recognised for this. I'm absolutely sure the gardens playground will be used extensively by children and appreciated by all.

Fiji Project:

Paul Street is organising the Fiji project. He has five (or so) people who will be going to help with this project. Several of the helpers will be relatives of Club.

They will leave in April and spend about a week helping in the repair and maintenance of buildings on the island.


We have lost several members of the club over the last year. This is disappointing; however in this decade, with all of our other commitments, this can be expected.

On the other side of the ledger the Club has two new members (Campbell Till and Chris Hillock) and four people who have indicated a desire to join the Club and have filled out the appropriate paper work.

I would encourage members to bring along guests, who you think may wish to join WSR.


The Directors have been endeavouring to cater for members of the Club who have significant altruistic desires, who want to be involved with community projects but may not want to be so involved with the general running of the Club. Individual projects will become very important to Club members and the social side of the Club and attendance to meetings may become less important to some members. 

If you have any projects that you believe that we should become involved in, please let the directors know. At the same time, if you have any concerns, please come to us and let us know.

Justin Vodane

President 2016/17