From Graeme Waters – Rotary Club of Wellington North Mon 06/03/17.

On the occasion of the unveiling of the Grove  Sign.


Your worship Mayor Justin Lester

Our many friends and guests from the Council, Wellington North Rotary and Te Araroa Wellington Trust.

On behalf of our Club President David Bennett (who sends apologies), thank you for joining us today.  Special thanks to our busy Mayor for taking time out to unveil the signage for this Rotary Grove, the newest addition to the Te Araroa trail.

As Bill has explained, Te Araroa – New Zealand’s trail – is already a great national asset.

When Wellington North Rotary turned 50 in November 2015 we looked for a suitable project that would reflect our five decades of community  service, and our connection with Thorndon and the northern suburbs of Wellington. We have much to celebrate over that time, both locally and in the global work of  Rotary, which has been a key player in the fight against polio.

One of our enduring club legacies is our Scholarship Trust, which helps tertiary students in need.  Another is the Healthy Heroes programme, which works with schools and families to promote better nutrition and fitness among young school children.

We were delighted that Rory and others in our club were able to establish a dialogue with Te Araroa Wellington Trust, and that Steve Brazier was able to work on the idea of an MOU to establish a new, long term partnership.

This Rotary Grove is the first practical expression of our partnership.   We hope it will be enjoyed by the many visitors to our city (we note that the downhill walk from the cable car is popular with cruise ship passengers) as well as by workers, students and residents of Wellington.  Our own club plans a picnic in the grove this Thursday.

Rotary’s contribution has been to meet the costs incurred by Council in planting and irrigating 18 Holm oak trees.  Te Araroa Wellington Trust has taken responsibility for the signage, and has worked creatively with others on its design.  Our thanks and congratulations go to them, and to the members of Wellington North Rotary who have contributed financially to sponsor a tree.  We hope this project will inspire other Rotary clubs to partner on the Te Araroa walkway, up and down the country.

It is now my pleasure to present you Mayor Justin Lester with a cheque for $8813 as a donation to cover the Wellington City Council’s costs in this project, and to invite you to unveil the signage.