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Club Projects and Fundraising

Whaka Rotary 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.

The Whakatū Rotary Facebook page has regular updates on the club's current projects and fundraising activities.


Examples of previous and recurring projects are shown below.

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 completed a $2 million upgrade and refurbishment  project so future generations of school students will continue to benefit from the wonderful opportunities on offer in Nelson Lakes National Park.

The project was completed in 2021 and included 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, along with many other improvements and equipment.

Further details and stories about Rotoiti Lodge can be found on the Whakatū Rotary Facebook page. See The Leader story and video about the project here.

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 include Blackjack, Texas Hold’em Poker, Roulette and Crown and Anchor. New games are continually being added.


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:

Noel Tait, 027 231 2762.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Tuveuni, Fiji
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A team of Whakatū 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
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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 Whakatū and other local Rotary clubs can be applied for to use in our projects.

Club Fundraising

District Grants

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Whakatū Rotary has been successful in securing a number of Rotary District grants.
These have been in conjunction with other local Rotary clubs and have been in support of the Rotoiti Lodge Upgrade Project, and others. 

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