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Rotary NZ World Community Service Celebrates 35 Years On 28 October 2020

Rotary New Zealand World Community Service (RNZWCS) initially Rotary Overseas Aid Projects (ROAP) celebrates on 35 years of service 28 October 2020, to the Rotary Districts of New Zealand and Pacific Countries and their partner Rotary organisations and communities worldwide. The milestone due only to the tenacity, positive spirit and dedicated service of Rotarians past and present. The inaugural District Directors were CT Field 9910, Brian Meadowcroft 9920, Jack Ridley 9930, Gerry Fox – Chairman 9940, Keith Rollo 9970 and Lou Robinson 9980. 

Since 1985, there have been many notable chairs who have guided the organisation to what it is today including Ross Craig, Mike Jaduram and current Tony Fortune. RNZWCS was registered as RNZWCS Limited, a not for profit limited charity CC26860 on 11 December 2003. Prior to and more significantly since, RNZWCS has partnered with the New Zealand Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs obtaining grants from various partnership funds in New Zealand, in addition to bilateral and multilateral funding. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative benefitting to date from in excess of NZ $12 million. In addition to funding support RNZWCS manage the Emergency Response Kit (ERKs) programme, first introduced into New Zealand in 1985 as EMBOX by Eastern Hutt Rotary. 

Since 2007 when records have been kept, some 10,000 kits have been purchased and packed. Rotary volunteers at warehouses in Auckland and Christchurch have undertaken the task. RNZWCS is indebted to the Auckland Rotary Clubs who recently packed 1,000 kits to supplement those prepositioned in Pacific countries in preparation for the forthcoming cyclone season. RNZWCS values the financial and strategic support from MFAT in addition to the support of Rotary in Pacific countries along with other International and local NGO’s who provide storage and logistical support when the need arises. RNZWCS continues to support Rotary Clubs in Christchurch with their Donations in Kind programme. They have consigned 22 Containers of goods to Pacific countries in the past few years with one at sea currently between New Zealand and Tonga. Donations in Kind are a valued commodity and only items specifically requested are sourced. The newly established Passport Club in Rotorua has taken up the challenge following the Christchurch example.

RNZWCS responds to the Humanitarian needs of people as they arise undertaking appeals to Rotary, the private and public sectors. Most notably included the Christchurch earthquakes when in excess of $2 million was received and more recently significant responses were made to the Australian Bushfire and Samoa Measles Epidemic Appeals. Since 1985, RNZWCS has worked collaboratively with its Australian counterpart RAWCS . In 2014 RNZWCS and RAWCS entered into a formal MOU. From 2018 a Working Group meets quarterly by zoom.

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