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Club Projects and Fundraising

The Rotary Club of Whakatū supports local community and selected international projects.


The focus is on youth, education and the environment, with a preference for projects that benefit the wider community and develop resources with an ongoing social benefit.

However, the club also supports individuals and organisations with a variety of sponsorships, donations and labour.

See a summary of recent projects here

The project brief document can be found here.

Rotoiti Lodge Upgrade
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In its 50 years of operation the Rotoiti Lodge Outdoor Education Centre at St Arnaud has offered 120,000 school children in the Nelson-Tasman-Marlborough regions the opportunity to safely experience the great outdoors. Whakatū Rotary and other Rotary Clubs in the Top of the South Island are launching a fundraising project for a staged upgrade of the lodge so future generations of school students will continue to benefit from the wonderful opportunities on offer in Nelson Lakes National Park.

The project has four planned stages, including a new commercial standard kitchen, double glazing in the communal living area, a deck with seating opening off the living area, an update of furniture in the living area and new audio visual equipment. 

Whakatū Rotary welcomes both financial donations to the project or the offer of materials and/or labour and the fundraising will be launched in early October via a Give a Little page. Details will be confirmed on this page. Further information can be found on Facebook.

Whakatū Rotary welcomes both financial donations to the project or the offer of materials, services and labour. Financial donations can be made via the Rotoiti Lodge Upgrade Project Give A Little Page

Further details and stories about Rotoiti Lodge can be found on Facebook.

See The Leader story and video about the project here.

For more information contact project leader Trevor Marshall at 027 222 4947.

Corporate Casinos
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Running casinos is one of the club’s major means of fundraising. As croupiers, club members use professional casino equipment to provide businesses, sports teams, social clubs and private functions with cash-free, stylish casinos.


These are a fun, relaxed social event for staff, clients and friends, or as a way for organisations to raise funds. Games available are Blackjack, Texas Hold’em Poker, Roulette and Crown and Anchor.


No prior experience is required to play these games.  Previous casino customers have included the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Trust, Club Italia, Prices Pharmacy, Johnston & Associates, ANZ, Crowe Horwath, Fletcher Vautier Moore, Sport Tasman, Monaco Resort and Bowater Honda.

For further information and to discuss booking a casino, contact:

Steve Kelso 029 2323 229, or

Noel Tait, 027 231 2762.

Saltwater Creek Cleanup

At least once a year club members work in conjunction with the Nelson City Council to clean two stretches of Saltwater Creek behind The Warehouse and Countdown, and along Haven Road.


This urban creek winds through the city and out into the Maitai River. Club members have worked over the last few years to remove human-imposed rubbish from the creek in an effort to restore it to health.


This is evidenced by a return to the creek of bird life and small fish.

Native Tree Planting
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The club works with the Nelson Council on new or replacement native tree and shrub plantings around the city.


Recent planting projects include Tahunanui Beach by the skating rink, which marked the centennial of the Rotary Foundation, and several large plantings in the Maitai Valley, including Groome Creek.

Nelson Intermediate Breakfasts

Every other year the club cooks and serves two breakfasts at Nelson Intermediate, one for girls and their mothers or female mentors, and the other for boys and their fathers or male mentors.


The breakfasts are an opportunity for the children and their significant adults to hear a range of inspirational individuals sharing their message of support and encouragement.

Race Unity Day /Asian Food Fair

Working with Multicultural Nelson, club members provide on the ground assistance to set up, run, and take down these two annual calendar fixtures which celebrate Nelson’s diversity.

Whakatu Riding for the Disabled
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Members worked over a weekend to repaint the RDA riding arena and are now supporting fundraising for the building of a second arena.

Founders Book Fair
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We volunteer our labour for this annual book fair in support of raising funds for Founders Heritage Park.


Members are rostered for duties on the entry and exit doors and also provide security within the two sales venues.

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Members assist each year in the presentation of the award winning RYDA programme, a Rotary-supported road safety education programme.


It provides practical and powerful workshops to change the way high school students people think about road safety as they begin to drive or ride as passengers in cars driven by their peers.

Clued Up Kids
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Members help each year to run this Rotary-supported multi-agency programme teaching year five and six primary school children confidence and life skills to help them stay safe in a range of real-life scenarios.


These include what to do in an earthquake, how to react in a house fire, demonstrations on water safety, interacting with dogs, road safety and first aid.

End Polio Now
Karen Stade Rotary People of Action Face

We support Rotary International’s 30 year project to eradicate the wild polio virus globally by contributing to End Polio Now fundraising.


This has included special End Polio Now breakfast meetings and auctions. We have also given support to those living locally with the effects of polio contracted as children during New Zealand outbreaks last century.

Mamma’s Laef, Vanuatu
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The club has worked with other local Rotary clubs to secure Rotary district grants to assist the Mamma’s Laef project in Vanuatu.


The project supports local women to earn an income sewing reusable sanitary pads which are provided in kits to individual girls in Vanuatu schools. It also provides basic reproductive health education in schools.

Tuveuni, Fiji
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A team of Whakatu Rotarians and members of other clubs travelled to Tuveuni Island in 2018 to assist the Tuveuni Rotary Club to rebuild schools destroyed by Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.


Whakatu has committed to providing over the next three years, scholarships administered by the Tuveuni Rotary Club which will support local children to attend school. 

Bridim, Nepal
Trevor on the building site at Bridim Ne

Club member Trevor Marshall travelled to the earthquake-devastated Sherpa village of Bridim in 2018 to help build a new teacher’s house.


The house was built with $17,000 raised by the club with an evening with former All Black Sir John Kirwan and other contributions. The club has a connection with the village through club members.

The Rotary Foundation

The club contributes annually to Rotary International’s own charity, the Rotary Foundation. Grants made by the foundation are made in support of international and local projects.


A percentage of the contributions made by Whakatu and other local Rotary clubs can be applied for to use in our projects.

Club Fundraising

Nelson Art Expo


The club receives payment each year to provide workers at the art expo. Members assist artists to hang their artwork and replace sold works, take selected art to the sales desk for purchase, and help wrap purchases. It’s a fun, social and colourful fundraiser for the club.

Kitchen Trail

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Started in 2018, this is set to become an annual fundraiser in conjunction with Cancer Society Nelson-Tasman.


We work with master joiners in presenting top kitchens, both new builds and renovations, for display to the public. Funds raised are shared between the two organisations, the 2018 club share earmarked for the Rotoiti Lodge Upgrade Project.

District Grants

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Over the last few years, Whakatu has been successful in securing Rotary District 9970 grants.


These have been in conjunction with other local Rotary clubs and have been in support of the Mamma Laef project and the Rotoiti Lodge Upgrade Project. 

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