Working in the Karori Community
The Rotary Club of Karori has been active in the Karori community since 1982, providing funding and expertise to improve the quality of life for Karori residents. By drawing on the time, skills and resources of its members, the Club is able to make things happen, either by its own efforts or in partnership with others.
The Karori Wildlife Sanctuary
Beginning in 1999, when the Club helped to fund the construction of the 8.6 km predator-proof fence, the Rotary Club of Karori has assisted with the realization of the vision of the Sanctuary founders of creating a protected natural area where the bio-diversity of a square mile of forest is being restored.
In 2003, the Club began an ambitious program to develop the Discovery Area of the Sanctuary, a recreation of the 1906-1908 construction site for the two dams created to provide water for the growing settlement of Wellington. The project was completed in 2007 with the construction of a viewing tower to provide commanding views over the entire Sanctuary.The
Discovery project was carried out in collaboration with all the Wellington Rotary Clubs and marked the centenary of Rotary's foundation.
To provide funding for the ongoing maintenance of the Discovery Area, the Club holds an annual 11.8 km mountain run or walk around the perimeter of the Sanctuary, known as the Karori Gutbuster. With the assistance of the Wellington Harrier Athletic Club and the sponsorship of Meridien Energy, the Gutbuster has become an increasingly popular annual event for the whole family.
The Marsden Club
Picture: Julia Murphy
The Marsden Club, located at Newcombe Crescent, Karori, is one of New Zealand's first independent day care centres for people with Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders.
The Rotary Club of Karori provided substantial financial assistance for the purchase of the property through the Karori Rotary Marsden Community Trust. The Club continues to be active in the governance of the Trust and provides ongoing support to the care of the residents and the upkeep of the property.
The Rotary Club of Karori has made a major contribution to the redevelopment of Karori Park. As a first step, the Club worked with the City Council to upgrade the playground by replacing the previous playground equipment and landscaping the surrounds.
Following this successful project, the Club undertook to facilitate the wider redevelopment of the Park. Following consultation with sports and community groups, a concept plan was developed and the City Council agreed to provide funding.
Major earthworks started in 2004 by shifting some 30,000 cubic meters of topsoil to level the park and remove the culvert to create a continuous flat area. Walking tracks were laid out around the perimeter of the park. 10,000 shrubs were planted and car parks added. The Park Pavilion and the Karori Park Sports Club premises were upgraded.
The park is now the largest sports ground and community facility in Wellington, with 6 hectares of level open space.
Ongoing work includes further planting and a fitness track.
Recognizing the History of Karori
European settlement of Karori began in 1842. To mark the 150th anniversary of this date, the Rotary Club of Karori built a memorial walkway of 1570 pavers, representing the children attending five local schools.
Pavers representing children from each of the schools are distinctively coloured and individual pavers bear a number for each child. The walkway is next to Karori Library and leads to the community centre.
Working in the international community
In 2007/08, the Club entered into a partnership with Volunteer Service Abroad, to develop a model kindergarten on the island of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu. The Club provided funding for building materials, playground equipment and teaching materials, while the local community provided locally available materials and labour.
VSA personnel have overseen the implementation of the project and the administration of the donated funds.
This successful project, completed in June 2008, will increase the quality of early childhood education and the number of trained early childhood educators.