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Presidential Citation

7 December 2018

President Brian McGurk presented immediate past president Karen Stade with the 2017-2018 Presidential Citation earned by the club under her stewardship.

Great work by the club to get it is being continued this Rotary year. The award is made to clubs who achieve criteria set by the International President, in this case, Ian Risely.

The only other club in our district to achieve it in the 2017-2018 year was Greymouth. 

Rotoiti Lodge concept design

5 October 2018

Check out this great concept design for our Rotoiti Lodge upgrade project.

It shows the Lake Rotoiti-end of the lodge living area with its proposed deck and double glazed windows and sliding doors.


The deck will provide a wonderful outdoor education space for classes and also an area to simply relax on during warmer months.


Our grateful thanks to Rachel Dodd and Renee Williamson of Arthouse Architects in Nelson for donating their professional services to the project.

Rotoiti Lodge Upgrade Project

11 September 2018

A team of Whakatu Rotarians visited Rotoiti Lodge Outdoor Education Centre at St Arnaud to meet with lodge director Russell Ferens about next month's launch of a major fundraising effort to upgrade the lodge. Over its 50 year history the lodge has hosted 120,000 school children from around Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman and is showing its age. The planned upgrade includes installing a new commercial standard kitchen, double glazing of windows and doors, a new outdoor deck, and improvements to the communal living area and AV equipment. 

Nelson Art Expo

31 August-2 September 2018

The Whakatu A-team (that's Art-team) on duty for the opening morning of the Nelson Art Expo. Recognisable by their expo t-shirts, white gloves and big smiles, the every-changing lineup of Whakatu Rotarian A-teamers throughout the three day expo helped hang art works, remove them to the sales desk once chosen for purchase, and bubble wrapping for take home.


It's something we've been doing now for several years now and the money we make this year is contributing to our Rotoiti Lodge Outdoor Education Centre renovation project.

People of Action

10 August 2018

Introducing our latest Rotary Facebook campaign. The global 'Rotary People of Action' campaign will showcase our passion for taking action to improve our community and the world. Where others see problems, we see solutions.


This is our chance to show everyone how Rotarians see what’s possible in their communities and to highlight what we can achieve when more community leaders join Rotary.


First up are club members Sue and Tony helping to transform the Whakatu Riding for the Disabled arena with a fresh coat of paint.

Kitchen Trail Fundraiser

9 August 2018

We made a splash in this week's Nelson and Tasman Leader newspapers with a full page story and photograph promoting our Kitchen Trail fundraiser coming up on Sunday 19 August. The kitchen trail is a joint fundraiser with Cancer Society Nelson and tickets are available on its site:

The club's share of the funds raised will help kickstart Whakatu's major 2018-2019 fundraising project to replace the ageing kitchen at Rotoiti Lodge Outdoor Education Centre at St Arnaud.

Now on Instagram and Twitter!

1 August 2018

We're now on Instagram and Twitter! Whakatu Rotary has had a Facebook presence for some time now but reaching out via other social media channels will further extend our messages and networks.


Like, follow and share our stories! You'll find all the links you need to join us on our website home page.

International Recognition

July 2018

Our team of Nelson Rotarians (including three from Whakatu plus a partner and a friend, and two from the Nelson Club) made it into the pages of the Fiji Times for their school project on Tuveuni Island in Fiji. Whakatu hopes to further develop its working relationship with the Tuveuni Rotary Club. 

Steve Kelso PHF

12 July 2018

Steve Kelso was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship at the changeover dinner by fellow club PHF Sean Thomas. Steve can always be relied upon to undertake club projects with great enthusiasm and is the main driver of our successful casino fundraisers. Congratulations Steve!

Ray Nottingham Fellowship Trophy

12 July 2018

Whakatu was awarded the District 9970 fellowship trophy by outgoing District Governor Sarita McLean. It recognises that our club combines fun, fellowship and Rotary values in undertaking our community service. It is the first time a Nelson club has been awarded this trophy.


12 July 2018

Karen Stade handed over the presidential chains to 2018-2019 President Brian McGurk at a travel and adventure-themed changeover dinner at the Rata Room at NMIT.

Mamma's Laef District Grant Project Report

29 June 2018

Whakatu was the lead club in a joint 9970 District grant project this year with the Nelson and Motueka clubs.  The grant of $11,000 to the Mamma's Laef project funded the making and distribution of 400 menstruation kits (containing washable sanitary pads) to school girls and their female teachers in Vanuatu, and the provision of reproductive health education. Today Belinda Roselli of Mamma's Laef (left, with president Karen Stade) reported back to the club on what was a very successful international project. We truly made a difference in the Pacific nation of Vanuatu.

Inductions of Bill Wagstaff and Scott Tambisari

29 June 2018

Karen Stade wrapped up her final meeting as president by inducting two new members, Bill Wagstaff and Scott Tambisari. Bill is due to relocate from Auckland to Nelson after working part weeks here for some months in IT project management, and Scott is starting a new position as community partnerships advisor with the Nelson City Council. Welcome to you both!

Fiji International Project

24-29 June 2018

Several club members, Trevor, Tony (along with is wife Gill) and Julie (accompanied by a Rotarian friend), have been in Fiji this week working alongside the Tavenui Rotary Club to build and paint a school house on the island of Tavenui. It's been warm but wet, so painting was done in between showers. The project also involved Barry from the Rotary Club of Nelson.

Cancer Society Ball Pack-up

23 June 2018

Many hands make light work and a group of members headed down to the Trafalgar Centre early on Saturday morning to strip the tables of their finery and pack them and the chairs away following a very successful Cancer Society Nelson fundraising ball the night before. Mike showed he was a dab hand with the table decorations.

Karen Fern is awarded the Fred Coe Award

22 June 2018

Community projects coordinator Karen Fern is the 2017-2018 recipient of the Fred Coe Award. This beautiful trophy is awarded by the president annually for the club member who has made an outstanding contribution to the club. It's usually awarded at changeover but Karen will miss this while cycling around the island of Japanese island of Hokkaido. Karen has not only coordinated all our community projects this year, but has also taken on the fundraising project role and fostered ties with Whakatu RDA and Multicultural Nelson. She has also taken a lead role in the initial stages of our Rotoiti Lodge Outdoor Education Centre revamp project. Congratulations Karen!

Induction of Nicole Gibson

22 June 2018

Whakatu Rotary inducted its youngest member this week when 21-year old Nicole Gibson joined our ranks. Nicole is a Spirit of New Zealand leader, was our 2016 Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) recipient, and is the recently elected president of Whakatu Riding for the Disabled. On top of this she is studying for a degree in Social Work through NMIT. Welcome into Rotary Nicole!

Nelson Intermediate Breakfast

27 June 2018

What were members doing outside at 6am during the biggest frost so far this winter? Cooking and then serving breakfast for the Nelson Intermediate year 8 girls and their mothers and/or significant female mentors. It's a fabulous project we do every second year, although usually we do it in September rather than in mid-winter. The earlier timing this year shows just how tough our members are and how dedicated they are to helping our community.

Planting native trees at Groome Creek

16 June 2018

Members joined the Friends of the Maitai group and Nelson City Council staff to plant native trees at Groome Creek in the Maitai Valley. This is the third native planting project the club has assisted the council with in this Rotary year.

Casino Night

26 May 2018

What a cracking 21st birthday party our 2016 RYLA student Nicole Gibson enjoyed, complete with one of our Whakatu Rotary casinos to keep her guests entertained.


What are the chances that it was her mum Susan who won the high roller finale on the blackjack table?! 

Nelson Women's Rotary Brunch

12 May 2018

Whakatu Rotary hosted the first Nelson Rotary Women's Brunch in the region.


Nearly 40 women with various connections to local Rotary clubs joined president Karen Stade and District Governor Sarita McLean for a pre-Mother's Day brunch at Trailways.


The highlight was the guest speaker,  Emma Hunter, from Bronte House at Nelson College for Girls. Bronte House which provides a wrap-around holistic, educational approach for some of our community's most at-risk young women.


The brunch attendees all left feeling very inspired by this nationally-recognised education model.

Welcome Martin!

11 May 2018

Welcome Martin de Ruyter, the newest member of the Whakatu Rotary team.

Martin was inducted by DG Sarita, her very first induction.

Bridim, Nepal housing rebuild

4 May 2018

Member Trevor Marshall and his son travelled to Nepal over April to help build a new home in the 2015 earthquake-devastated Sherpa village of Bridm. Last year the club, with the help of former All Black Sir John Kirwan with personal donations, raised more than $17,000 to assist Bridim to build new houses. The club has a direct link with the Sherpa families in Bridim through the Nelson-based specialist adventure trekking company, Everest Treks, run by John Gully, brother to club members Phil and Hugh. The photo shows John (left) and Trevor (right) with two women from the village during a break in the building work.

Rotary's Community Connections

1 May 2018

The club's May Facebook member Karen Fern has found herself developing close connections to Nelson's migrant community through Rotary. She was the key to the club working alongside the Nelson Multicultural Council to help run the Tasman Asian Food Fair in February and Race Unity Day in March. Now she's a volunteer learner driver mentor of new Colombian migrants to the city.

Race Unity Day

18 March 2018

Whakatu members enjoyed being part of the annual colourful Nelson Race Unity Day at Victory Square. The day celebrates the diversity that Nelson's 65 cultural communities bring to the city and region, with dance, song, food and craft.

Separate Whakatu teams helped to set up and take down equipment and a third team staffed the Nelson Multicultural Council marquee during the event. They also mingled with the large crowd, answering questions and giving directions (like "why does Nelson attract so many different cultures?" and "where's the coffee cart?"). 

Here Deliese MacKay meets a group of Nepalese women.

Birgit becomes NZ citizen

14 March 2018

Congratulations to Whakatu member Birgit Neumann on becoming a New Zealand citizen. She is seen here taking her oath in front of Nelson mayor and fellow Rotarian Rachel Reese, and fellow Whakatu Rotarian Anna Gully JP and the Rev Andy Joseph JP.  

New Zealand 'Rotary - People of Action'

3 March 2018

President Karen Stade features in a  New Zealand 'Rotary - People of Action' campaign. A photo of her taken during a Keep India Free rally in Agra, India last year is being used on on a banner and on Facebook. The campaign was launched at the South Pacific Presidents Elect Training Seminar in Auckland.

Whakatu Rotary's 15th birthday

2 March 2018

It was on 26 February 2003 that the club officially became part of Rotary International and 15 years later we celebrated with the sharing of stories and photos of past projects and fun, plus of course, birthday cake! Current president Karen Stade joined in the fun with charter president John Bethwaite (right) and the club's second president Phil Gully.

Asian food fair

17 February 2018

Asian Food Fair, Washbourn Gardens, Richmond. Whakatu Rotary teamed up with the Nelson Multicultural Council to set up and lend a hand at the second Asian Food Fair. It was a wonderful success, made even more colourful by the strings of Chinese lanterns, which member Tony Jemmett scaled great heights to put up.

Rotoiti Lodge Painting

18-19 November 2017

It was a small but highly efficient group of Whakatu Rotarians who descended on Rotoiti Lodge Outdoor Education Centre at St Arnaud for a weekend project. Their task: to sand, prime and paint the interior windows of both the boys' and girls' dorms. A core team of four stuck it out for the whole weekend, with two extras joining us on Saturday and another one on Sunday. It's the fourth painting weekend the club has held at the lodge in the last three years.

Visiting American Rotarian

10 November 2017

The club welcomed visiting American New Generations Rotarian Andrea Mahnke, a member of the Tempe Rio Salado Camelback Crossroads Rotary Club in Arizona.

She was in New Zealand to visit Whakatu Rotarians Karen Stade (left), Kristine Marriott (third), Belinda Wheatley (right). The four all met in Agra, India in January, on a Rotary Keep India Polio Free Rally.

Peter Millward's Paul Harris Fellow presentation

10 November 2017

Local Nelson World War I historian and retired Nelson Provincial Museum director Peter Millward was presented with a Paul Harris Fellow for his part in efforts to record and acknowledge as many people as possible from this region who gave WWI service. District 9970 governor Sarita McLean presented the award to Peter at a meeting of Whakatu Rotary. His ongoing voluntary work has resulted in this region having one of the best online resources of WWI information in the country. Peter is pictured with DG Sarita (centre) and club president Karen Stade.

RDA Fence Painting

4 November 2017

There was no horsing about when a team of Whakatu Rotarians donned brushes to spruce up the Whakatu Riding for the Disabled group's fenced riding arena in the Brook Valley. Brown stain and white paint was liberally applied to the fencing, gates and pens during the one-day community project. Member Tony Jemmett was paired at the southern end of the arena by brand new inductee Sue Lawrence. 

Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter fundraising

28 October 2017

Whakatu Rotarians Dave (left) and Steve (right) watch on as our very own croupier extraordinaire, Noel, deals the cards for the high rollers in the Blackjack finale of the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Trust fundraising casino, held at the Nelson Club on 28 October.


It was a highly successful fundraising evening for the trust and another fun casino fundraiser for Whakatu Rotary.

Cleaning up Saltwater Creek

30 September 2017

For the last three years Whakatu Rotary has been cleaning up Nelson City's Saltwater Creek in partnership with the Nelson City Council.

This small creek is an important waterway but suffers from human-introduced rubbish as it winds its way through the city and out into the mouth of the Maitai River. However, we've seen a dramatic drop in the amount and type of rubbish we've been collecting over the three years.

Not so many large pieces of rubbish such as bikes, supermarket trolleys, appliances and automotive waste but still plenty of smaller rubbish. Last Saturday's (30 September 2017) cleanup of two stretches of the creek (behind the Warehouse and Countdown, and along Haven Road, as pictured here) removed glass bottles, cans, tins, broken tiles and clothing, as well as metal crutch and a floor mop.

When we first started cleaning the creek there was no sign of fish or wildlife in or on it. This time we found ducks swimming in the upper reach of the creek, and on the lower reaches, a variable oyster catcher and small smelt or whitebait. It's pretty dirty work but we enjoy taking care of our environment.

Tree Planting

3 September 2017

Whakatu members joined Rotarians from three other city clubs on Father's Day (that's dedication to the cause), Sunday 3 September, to plant native trees in the Maitai Valley.


Over 300 trees and shrubs were planted in a strip alongside the river just upstream from the Maitai Camp. The planting, in partnership with Nelson City Council, was in response to International Rotary President Ian Riseley's challenge to plant a tree for every Rotarian in the world.


We exceeded this by planting more than two trees per Nelson City Rotarian.

Bell Trophy

30 August 2017

A great night, thank you to everyone who contributed to the event.

In the end it was Ken who won the trophy on behalf of Stoke Tahunanui Club.


18 August 2017

Brian McGurk at the ArtExpo.


7 July 2017

Introducing Kamaya Crawford as the very funky and urbane face of Whakatu at the start of the 2017-2018 Rotary year.

Centennary of the Rotary Foundation

2 July 2017

The combined clubs of Nelson City:  Nelson, Nelson West, Rutherford, Stoke-Tahunanui and Whakatu, along with friends and family, met at Tahunanui Beach on a very wet Sunday, 2 July 2017, to celebrate the centennial of the Rotary Foundation. Rotarians planted two areas just west of the skating rink with 280 native trees and shrubs and unveiled a plaque commemorating the event on a bench seat. Adding to the festivities was the informal changeover for the new 2017-2018 Stoke-Tahunanui president, Bernie Goldsmith (centre). She was welcomed by Nelson club's outgoing president Graeme Robertson (far left), Rutherford's Glenn Morris, Whakatu's Karen Stade and Nelson West's Shelley Fleming (far right).

Paul Harris Sapphire Pins

28 June 2017

Congratulations to Whakatu Rotarians Anna and Phil Gully (left and right) who were presented with Paul Harris sapphire pins by outgoing District Governor Arie Geerlofs at the Nelson West changeover meeting on 28 June 2017. The sapphire pin is presented in addition to the Paul Harris Fellowship medallion, which the club awarded Phil in 2010 and Anna in 2014. It recognises their service over a number of years as assistant governors to the seven Nelson-Tasman Rotary clubs. Anna and Phil recently stepped down from their joint roles. Also presented with a sapphire pin the same night was Nelson West member Graeme Thomas (centre).

Luca Ware

4 July 2017

The club has donated $200 to Luca Ware to assist her fundraising as part of a group of five Nelson cadets who will be sailing on the 65-foot Sh'khinah, from Auckland to Suva, Fiji.

They will be under the command of well-experienced skipper Milo Coldren, Unit Commander at T.S. Talisman. Over the course of the expedition, Luca will participate in ground-breaking research, collecting/working with samples of plankton from the waters of the Pacific. The specimens she and her fellow cadets collect will be analysed with the help of the Cawthron Institute to help identify new species of plankton and determine the effect that climate change has on them.


As part of the study, the cadets will participate in the Plankton Planet youth outreach at the Maritime Museum of Auckland, during which the Sh'Khinah will be berthed at the Spirit of New Zealand’s berth in Central Auckland. Luca flies to Auckland on 5 July and set sails for Fiji on Friday 7 July 2017.


Upon her return to Nelson, Luca will attend a club meeting to tell us about her expedition.

You can follow Luca's voyage at

Cancer Society Ball

3 June 2017

It took hours to set up but only 30 minutes to take down!


A team of Whakatu Rotarians helped set up the new Trafalgar Centre function room for the annual Cancer Society Ball and another team returned the next day to take it down again.


By all accounts it was a fantastic night and raised much needed funds for the society. Here Christina starts collecting empty bottles during the cleanup.

Club Italia Casino

3 June 2017

Shades of old Havana as Whakatu Rotarians put on another great fundraising casino evening for Club Italia.


Plenty of lovely ladies with Carmen Miranda-style fruit-topped turbans and colourful flounces, smart men in cream suits and fedoras, and a sprinkling of Batista-styled military uniforms, along with our own smartly dressed croupier team.


Phil Gully ran the Crown and Anchor table.

Deliese MacKay on Rotary New Zealand Facebook page

17 June 2017

Deliese MacKay is the club's first member to appear as part of a Rotary New Zealand Facebook campaign.


The national campaign is designed to show how diverse Rotarians are these days.


Watch out for more Whakatu Rotarians on the club Facebook page - Rotary Club of Whakatu and the Rotary New Zealand page.

Fred Coe Trophy

17 June 2017

Steve Kelso was awarded the Fred Coe Trophy at changeover for services to the club during the 2016-2017 year.


Steve is the driving force behind the club's very successful casino fundraisers. Great job Steve!

Change Over 2017

17 June 2017

The 2017-2018 club changeover was a mid-winter Christmas cocktail party at Trailways Hotel, complete with decorated Christmas tree and lights.

Outgoing president Shane Davies (left) handed over the ceremonial chains to new president Karen Stade, while Brian McGurk stepped up to become president-elect.

Founders Book Fair

4 June 2017

Members were out in force over Queen's Birthday Weekend to provide security at Nelson's annual Founders Book Fair at Founders Heritage Park.  This is an annual project for members and one which helps Founders raise in the vicinity of $150,000 for the park.

Christina and Deliese did their bit on security duty at the the exit doors.

Ladies running the show!

29 April 2017

Bold for Change! Nelson's female incoming Rotary
presidents made it into the April 2017 Rotary Down Under Magazine, after
making a splash at the South Pacific Presidents-Elect Training Seminar
in Auckland.

Funds Raised for Nepal

21 April 2017

An evening with New Zealand rugby great Sir John Kirwan earlier this month has raised $15,130 to help rebuild permanent homes in a sherpa village in Nepal.

The Rotary Club of Whakatu, in association with John Gully of the Nelson-based specialist adventure trekking company, Everest Treks, invited John to speak to a public audience at Nelson Intermediate. He traversed topics as diverse as visiting Nepal, rugby, his own battle with depression, and ways in which people might help support those they suspect of having or who have mental illness. Alternating serious key messages with light hearted rugby banter and All Black yarns, John kept a near capacity audience enthralled. 

Between the funds raised on the night, a generous personal donation from a club member and a further $2,500 raised by John Gully, the total funds now available are $17,630. This will all go towards building and construction materials which volunteers travelling from New Zealand to Nepal will use to help build several permanent homes for the families of sherpas in the village of Bridim. Many homes were badly damaged or destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 2015.


For further information or details about joining the volunteer trips to Nepal later this year and early next year, contact John Gully at

Evening with John Kirwan

29 March 2017

Sir John Kirwan and John Gully with students from Nelson Intermediate School.

There was close to a full house at Nelson Intermediate School to hear former All Black player, Sir John Kirwan, talk about rugby, dealing with mental illness, and Nepal. There was a lot of laughing, hugging and dancing too! It was a great club effort to raise funds to build permanent homes in the Nepalese village of Bridim for Sherpa families whose homes were destroyed in the 2015 earthquake.


The call is now out for people to join Everest mountaineer John Gully in Nepal in October this year or April next year to start building.

In the news again!

8 March 2017

Our intrepid polio vaccinaters have made it into print again,
this time in the March issue of the Nelson Marlborough District Health
Board's Connections magazine.

Tea by the Sea

3 March 2017

'Team Nachos' from Tea By The Sea.

Another very successful fundraiser for the Clifton Terrace School.

Jeremy Scott

3 March 2017

Jeremy Scott inspired us with stories from his inspiring 52,000km
bicycle ride from London to Auckland...all because of a hole in his
heart.  His photographic book of the trip, The Long Road from a Broken
Heart, is helping support the Heart Foundation.

Welcome Deliese Mackay

3 March 2017

President Shane Davies with our first new member for 2017!

Kristine, Karen and Belinda in India

January 2017

President-elect Karen Stade, past-president Kristine Marriott and member Belinda Wheatley joined 50 international Rotarians in the slums of Agra, India in January to vaccinate newborns to five year-olds as part of Rotary International's End Polio Now campaign.  Although India has been polio-free for three years on-going vaccination is vital to keeping it that way, especially as neighbouring Pakistan still has the wild polio virus.

See more here.

Sports Cars to Neudorf Vineyard

20 November 2016

The polio fundraising breakfast included a silent auction of chauffeured rides in six vehicles.

Pictured are Team Ferrari (left), Team Black Porsche and Team Mustang.

More chauffeured rides to come for Team Red Porsche, Team VW and Team

End of Year Function

19 November 2016

Fantastic night. Some people even knew that it was a dress up event!

Meet the incoming team

7 November 2016

Five of the seven incoming Nelson Area Presidents.


Glenn Morris (Rutherford), Karen Stade, Shelley Fleming (Nelson West), Bernie Goldsmith (Stoke-Tahunanui) and Derek Newman (Nelson).

End Polio Now Breakfast

28 October 2016

The Rotary Club of Whakatu raised in excess of $2,000 this morning at
our End Polio Now fundraising breakfast at Trailways by way of silent
auctions, raffles and a $10 donation by each attendee. There is still
some money to be added to that, so it was a fantastic effort all round
for an event that lasted less than two hours.

The breakfast and guest speakers, Brian Robinson, co-ordinator of the
Nelson Post-Polio Support Group, and Barbara Gould, team leader of CCS
Disability Action Nelson, was enjoyed by Rotarians from around the
region, along with club friends and family, and a number of people
affected by polio. We also welcomed Otmar Weigle, a visiting German
Rotarian, and his son Jakob.

A big thanks to club members, Dave, Trevor, Richard and Mike, and club
friends Tom and Steve, for their participation in the silent auctions by
offering to take chauffered rides in their special wheels, both fast and
a bit more sedate. Thanks also to the external sponsors of our raffle
prizes - Kiwi Kai and Trailways Hotel.

Fundraiser for Rescue Helicopter

15 October 2016

Another successful Casino night held at the Nelson Club as part of the Rescue Helicopter fund raiser night .

Rob and Julie spinning the fancy new roulette wheel and cleaning out more than 1 person of All their chips in their first hand.  Good for the house!

But also a few single number pay outs, 36:1  not so good for the house.

2 Black Jack tables , Crown and Anchor and Roulette down stairs and the 5 Texas Holdem boys upstairs in the Poker Den.   

Nelson Intermediate School Breakfasts

14-15 September 2016

Another great breakfast event for the NIS students!

See video of some highlights here.


9 September 2016

Whoops no raffle tickets sold!

Heads and tails to pick the winner.

Latest Member

19 August 2016

Welcome Stu Hunt! Our next newest member.

New Member!

12 August 2016

A big welcome to Lynley Lee, our newest member. But for how long?

Lynley was inducted on Friday by President Shane.

Bell Trophy Winners

20 June 2016

Kung Fu Whakatu were triumphant at the Bell Trophy challenge run by Nelson West Rotary at the Nelson Yacht Club on Wednesday night.

President Shane was second equal in individual points and overall the team reigned supreme, showing particular prowess in the memory quiz (18 out of 20), snail trail and poker dice.  Other games were floor pick-up sticks, darts, quoits and sandbag throwing.

We also reigned supreme in our costumes, looking suitably combative in our collective gis.

Now we have to keep the trophy in the face of future challenges from other clubs, so the team is putting its head together to see what we can come up with.

Another successful casino night!

25 June 2016

The Whakatu Eight Casino team after a big night of action on the weekend.

Fred Coe Memorial Trophy

17 June 2016

The Fred Coe Memorial Trophy is the Rotary Club of Whakatu's top honour.


This year it most deservedly goes to Shane for his efforts organising projects during the year.


Thank you Shane.

Change Over Night

17 June 2016

A great night out and a great way for Kristine to finish her year.


Welcome Shane Davies as President!

Paul Harris Fellowship

17 June 2016

Sean Thomas was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship.

Casino Night

10 June 2016

Another successful casino night.


Well done team!

Welcome Rob Edmonds!

29 April 2016

A very big welcome to Rob Edmonds, our most recent member.

Tea by the Sea

11 March 2016

Another great day for Clifton Terrace School!


Thank you to everyone who was able to help, you are much appreciated.

Nicole Gibson

11 March 2016

Nicole provided some feedback on her participation at RYLA, which she thoroughly enjoyed.


Nicole surprised herself by enjoying the Army leadership training the most, which was the one thing that she was not looking forward to.


Nicole also talked about her experiences on the Spirit of Adventure and spoke very highly of the personal development opportunities this provided for her.

Crowe Horwath Casino Night

26 February 2016

The Rotary Club of Whakatu ran a Casino fundraiser at the Crowe Horwath's event to raise funds for the Cancer Society of New Zealand.


Around $4,500 was raised, this is a fantastic result!


A very big thank you to the team at Crowe Horwath for organising this event.

Mal Sawn

26 February 2016

Mal spoke about starting a new life in Nelson after moving here with his younger brother, when he was around 13 years old.


Mal has found life in New Zealand a stark contrast to the war torn country of Myanmar.


Although Mal started with only a few simple English phrases he has made the most of his opportunities to now be Deputy Head Boy at Nelson College.

Louis Laws

26 February 2016

Louis is the Head Boy of Nelson College. Louis spoke about the endless joys of living in Timaru, unless compared to living in Nelson!


Louis spoke about the role that good teachers and the opportunities provided in the school environment had played in his development.

Painting Lake Rotoiti Lodge

13 February 2016

The Lake Rotoiti paining team hard at it again!


Great to see that all aspects of a weekend of painting are taken car of.

Chalk Boards in Action

12 February 2016

100 plywood panels were painted in black board paint sent up to Vanuatu for use in schools.


Here is a picture of their use in the Namoru Primary School.


Great project Noel and a big thank you to everyone who was able to help!

New member

29 January 2016

Welcome John Price!


What a way to start the year.

New Member

4 December 2015

Welcome Jon Hunter!


It is great to see a steady stream of new team members. Thank you to everyone who plays a part in this and a very big welcome to the new comers.

End of Year Function

28 November 2015

The club's end of year function was held at Mapua.


Looks like fun all round!

The Saltwater Creek clean up crew

21 November 2015

A great effort and all sorts of oddities recovered.


No one looked quite so clean or smelled quite so good at the finish though.

Hampden School Gala

20 November 2015

The first shift of the ever popular chip station get ready for action!

Welcome Ruedi Schuler

20 November 2015

Ruedi is our newest member (sort of).


Ruedi has been a very welcome addition to the team for some time - but now it is official!


23-26 October 2015

Thank you to every one who volunteered at the ArtExpo.

This event is a lot of fun and great for the region.


It looks a bit like Sean and Gordon have sprung psychedelic hair cuts - thanks Greg...

Isabela at Kaiteriteri

30 September 2015

It is apparently not quite as warm as in Brazil.

Karen Fern is off to Bolivia

25 September 2015

For three months next year Karen will be a voluntary worker in Bolivia for the organisation Biblioworks.

Biblioworks is a non-profit organisation that promotes education and literacy in communities in need. The organisation is founded on the principle that literacy and education are critical components for the creation and vitality of sustainable communities and cultures. They have built and equipped twelve libraries around the area of Sucre in the Chuiquisaca province of Bolivia.

The library that Karen will be volunteering at is the Biblioteca Municipal de Tarabuco in the town of Tarabuco 1½ hrs drive from the city of Sucre.

If you would like to make a contribution to help with the costs of Karen's Books for Bolivia project then please go here. 


Karen plans to fund most of the trip herself. Donations will enable more money to go into purchasing books.


Biblioworks do not ask for a fee from volunteers but they ask for a donation towards purchasing Bolivian children’s books. Please see Kids Books Bolivia for details.


If you would like to keep up to date with the project please follow Karen's blog here.

Fundraising Casino Night

19 September 2015

Another fantastic reuslt for the casino team. This event was for the Prices Pharmacy Netball team.


Feedback has included:


"What a great night we had celebrating the netball season.  We absolutely loved having you guys there and the Casino was awesome.  Everyone loved it.  We will definitely get the word around about the great work you guys do.  In fact, the club are talking about doing it again next year."


"Once again, thanks for coming out on Saturday night – the Casino and your group made the night!"

Welcome Peter

18 September 2015

Peter Hillier has been inducted. Our new newest member!

Fundraising Casino Night

5 September 2015

The Rotary Club of Whakatu held a casino event as part of the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Trust fundraising evening. In total the trust raised $16,500 over the evening and every one had a great time.


“Wow, what an evening.  For a first time event, our Casino Evening was incredibly successful and this was due to the professionalism of the Rotary Club of Whakatu in helping run this event and all the hard work behind the scenes."


“Fantastic night, it was all a bit of a whirl but definitely a great success, thanks for all your help Rotary Club of Whakatu.  We have had so much positive feedback, it will definitely be an annual event…  The Poker Club, did an awesome job too.”

Kerin and Dave's Induction

28 August 2015

Welcome Kerin and Dave Thompson!

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

22 August 2015

One of the Guess Who's Coming to Dinner teams. It was a great night for all involved, where we got meet each other (and some pets). Take note: some cats are very assertive...

Royce Lock Induction

7 August 2015

Welcome Royce Lock, our newest member!

Vanuatu Tablets

27 July 2015

The Whakatu Rotary team are creating 100 personal blackboard "tablets" for use in schools in Vanuatu.


The first stage was to sand and paint the first coat.

Julie Bryant Induction

10 July 2015

Welcome Julie Bryant, our newest member (at the time of writing).

Changeover function

2 July 2015

Once the formalities were completed the fun began!

Fred Coe Memorial Trophy

2 July 2015

Brian McGurk was the deserving winner of the Fred Coe Memorial Trophy.

Brian has been involved in most projects througout the year. Of particular note was his effort in running the 2014 Mayor's Christmas Dinner.

Kristine Marriott inducted as President

2 July 2015

Steve Kelso handed over the presidency to Kristine Marriott.

Kristine outlined her plan for fun, friendship and fundraising for the coming year.

Salt Water Creek cleanup

13 June 2015

A great effort by the team. Thank you to everyone who pitched in.

Quest Cleaning Project

23 May 2015

There was a fund raising project to clean the Quest rooms following the fit out.


Good fun with jobs for the short, tall, clueless and experts!

Supporting Nelson Cadets

5 May 2015

The Rotary Club of Whakatu is delighted to be able to support the Nelson Cadets.


The funds will go towards uniforms and basic items. The cadets recently presented to the club and impressed us with their enthusiasm and maturity.

Conference in Blenheim

2 May 2015

The Rotary Club of Whakatu contingent in Blenheim for the District 9970 conference.


Thank you Anna and Phil for representing us so well with the Teen Parenting Unit presentation.


A good team effort saw Whakatu pick up the best website award! Thank you for your contributions over the year.

ANZAC Dawn Service

25 April 2015

Five club members were formally part of the Gallipoli centennial Dawn Service at Trafalgar Park - Karen was on the organising committee, Brian was there in his Nelson City Councillor role and Pete Archibald recorded the whole service. Chris and Susan were there with Scouts and Guides.

Harcourts Casino Night

17 April 2015

The casino at Harcourts was a great success.  There were four casino tables for the evening.  For the record, Phil Gully was the quickest to lose his money and won a bottle of wine for his endeavours. Luckily his wife Anna fared better. Anna won on two tables and went on to win the final on the Roulette wheel, earning herself the trophy, and bottle of French Champagne. Great night had by all.


The proceeds earned at this evening have already been committed to an ERK (emergency response kit) for the Vanuatu cyclone relief.

Gordon Monro's Induction

20 March 2015

Welcome Gordon, who already seemed like a member due to willing involvment in recent club activities.


We look forward to hearing just what Gordon does, once he has worked this out :-)

Tom Thorfinnson Event

10 March 2015

A great night with Tom Thorfinnson (on left) providing a moving account of his Rotary journey and insight into the trends and challenges faced by Rotary globally.


See Tom's presentation here.


See Sean's presentation here.


See Nelson Mail article here. Thank you Nelson Mail!

Tom Thorfinnson and Liz Courtney hit the streets

10 March 2015

Tom Thorfinnson and DG Liz Courtney took a tour of Nelson with Hugh of Move Nelson.

Weetbix TRYathlon

8 March 2015

An early start for much of Nelson! As always though there were many happy faces and some (minor) life experiences amongst the hundreds of children that splashed, pedaled and dashed their way around the course!

Tea by the Sea

6 March 2015

Tea by the Sea is an annual fundraising gala for Clifton Terrace School.


This year over $16,000 was raised! Remarkably from offerings such as the one on the left :-)

Rotoiti Lodge Painting

21 February 2015

A very big effort over two weekends!


Well done to every one who was able to help, it was a very good result.

Rotoiti Lodge Painting (and eating)

21 February 2015

There was of course some hard work to be done as well as the painting ;-)

Cleaning up at the cricket

17 February 2015

We can't help the Black Caps clean up on the field, but we can help clean up afterwards!


Rotarians from various clubs pitched in to help with the big clean up after the games.

Isabela and Karen at Whakatu Marae

6 February 2015

Welcome Isabela

28 February 2015

Isabela (RYE student) has arrived from Piricaba in Brazil.


Isabela is slowly getting used to how cool our summers are! Snow is going to be a very big surpise.

Nelson Cycle Trail

23 November 2014

DG Liz Courtney and the Hon Nick Smith at the official opening of the Nelson Cycle Trail board walk at Sandeman reserve.


On Sunday Rotarians from all of the local clubs met to celebrate the opening of the trail and to enjoy a BBQ.

Hampden Street School Gala

21 November 2014

Even DG Liz Courtney was put to good use and proved to be a dab hand as a chippie!

Hampden Street School Gala

21 November 2014

Team Two looking all relaxed and shiny - this photo must have been taken at the start :-)

Hampden Street School Gala

21 November 2014

Again the fish and chips were in huge demand!


Team One are seen here in full swing.

John Bethwaite Recognition

10 October 2014

John Bethwaite (on left in photo) was both made a Kaumātua of the Rotary Club of Whakatu and awarded a Sapphire Pin.


This recogntion is for John's long standing involvment and contribution to Rotary. John was a charter member of the Rotary Club of Whakatu, its founding President and has played a key role in establishing the club's culture.


Since the club's beginning John has been the club's key reference for what it means to be Rotarian and has provided support and guidance to many of the newer members.

John Bethwaite Recognition

10 October 2014

John Bethwaite is presented with a Sapphire Pin by President Steve Kelso.

Nelson Intermediate Breakfast

16/17 September 2014

The end result!


Hundreds of appreciative students having breakfast and listening to inspirational speakers!

Nelson Intermediate Breakfast

16/17 September 2014

The boys get down to business. Some serious hash brown consumption on this day.

Nelson Intermediate Breakfast

16/17 September 2014

Feeding the masses, and they just kept coming!

Nelson Intermediate Breakfast

16/17 September 2014

Karen and Karen on the job.

Nelson Intermediate Breakfast

16/17 September 2014

Richard, Paul and Kristine at full fry.

Nelson Intermediate Breakfast

16/17 September 2014

Karen with one of the more important jobs.

Nelson Intermediate Breakfast

16/17 September 2014

Richard operating on the BBQ with surgical precision.

Nelson Intermediate Breakfast

16/17 September 2014

Hugh (Headmaster) and Paul.

Nelson Intermediate Breakfast

16/17 September 2014

John the brains behind the organising. Well done John, the breakfasts were spot on!

Nelson Intermediate Breakfast

16/17 September 2014

Tony the toast guy.

Nelson Intermediate Breakfast

16/17 September 2014

Phil was the runner, helping out all over the place.

Nelson Intermediate Breakfast

16/17 September 2014

Belinda with gun in hand!

Nelson Intermediate Breakfast

16/17 September 2014

Anna doing a sterling job on the stove.

Nelson Intermediate Breakfast

16/17 September 2014

Christina quickly worked out that we needed the BIG pots. 

Nelson Intermediate Breakfast

16/17 September 2014

Sean the hash brown guy. Why does he keep melting his apron? Rumour is that the apron was better cooked than most of the hash browns...

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

13 September 2014

Phil, Anna, Richard, Denise, Steve and Keryn about to enjoy what looks like a great bite!

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

13 September 2014

Lawrie, Susan, Kristine, Tony, Chris & Karen enjoying a great night out. 

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

13 September 2014

Jackie, Karen and John after three courses, a few drinks and some chocolate!

Belinda Wheatley inducted

15 August 2014

Welcome to Belinda Wheatley!


Belinda was inducted by Steve.

Sean Thomas' award

15 August 2014

Steve Kelso presented Sean with a certificate that somewhat curiously stated that Sean had performed with dignity during his term as President.

Phil Gully's award

25 July 2014

Alan Winwood presented Phi Guly with a Certificate of Recognition for service as Assistant Governor, from DG John Rickard.


Well done Phil it is great to club members stepping up to help at district level!

Greg and Richard are inducted

11 July 2014

Welcome to Greg Munroe and Richard Wilkinson!


Greg and Richard were inducted by Kristine, just in time for a busy weekend.

Change Over Dinner

3 July 2014

Out with the old and in with the new!


Steve Kelso is now President and is celebrating with a month long sailing adventure.


Congratulations to John Bethwaite on being awarded the Fred Coe Memorial Trophy!

Induction of Christina Minamizawa

20 June 2014

Our newest member, Christina Minamizawa, being inducted by Sean Thomas.

Nelson Intermediate Students

20 June 2014

Our speakers this morning were students from Nelson Intermediate. They provided some insights into their school experience and aspirations.

Casino Night in Nelson

18 June 2014

Las Vegas came to Nelson last night with SQL Services Nelson (Mike Spencer) hosting its 40 staff from all around New Zealand at a casino evening presented by Rotary Club of Whakatu at the Nelson Yacht Club.  The three grand finalists battled out for the supreme award (a bottle of Moet and a fabulous casino trophy) on the roulette table, with Andre taking out top spot - well done!  The best dressed prize went to Fiona with an eye-catching ensemble including a card head piece, dice necklace and card skirt.   SQL went on to Styx Restaurant for a superb meal.We received very positive feedback about the evening from Mike and his staff, so a huge thanks to Steve Kelso, Keryn Kelso, Karen Stade, Shane Davies, Noel Tait, John Bethwaite, Pete Archibald and our special guest poker dealer, Shane Haydon, for all your hard work in organising, setting up and running the evening.  Also we wish to thank Nelson West Rotary Club for allowing us the venue (it was their meeting night at the club) and the bar staff team.


“A big thank you to Rotary Club of Whakatu for putting on a fantastic Casino evening recently for our company.  Right from the start when I first meet their team, through to the big day everything couldn’t have been simpler. We left everything up to Rotary Club of Whakatu which meant all we had to do was turn up on the day.  It was the extra touches having the croupier’s dressed in black tie and organising finger food and drinks that made it feel like we were just around the corner from Las Vegas.  Thanks again for a great evening Rotary Club of Whakatu.”  -  SQL Services Ltd

Casino Night in Blenheim

14 June 2014

Las Vegas was brought to Blenheim on Saturday 14 June, when Rotary Club of Whakatu entertained the Marlborough District Council team on a mid-winter evening.  John and Steve teamed up with a local croupier Peter, and played Black Jack, Texas Hold 'Em Poker and Roulette.  The MDC staff didn't want the casino evening to stop they were enjoying it so much.  Gotta leave the punters always wanting more...Add News Story here

THE Wedding!

4 June 2014

Rachel and Lawrie's big day.

Founders Book Fair

31 May 2014

Tony Jemmett at the Founders Book Fair.

Jaydene Nepia

11 April 2014

Jaydene hoping to get the Oceana Games to represent NZ in weight lifting. The Rotary Club of Whakatu is providing some suport for Jaydene and we are looking forward to hearing from Jaydene on her return.