Healthy Heroes

Waikanae School challenged students and parents to commit to healthy habits by adopting a Rotary program called Healthy Heroes.

The Te Aramoana syndicate (about 120 students) have incorporated the nine week programme of 5 daily challenges, into their term 3 and 4 curriculum.

The goal of the programme is to build five habits for life: regular physical activity, healthy eating, adequate sleep, a lively mind and concern for others.

Points are scored and achievements are being recognised during the 9 weeks with completion certificates and tee shirts being awarded at the end

Rotary spokesperson Robert Nugent said the Waikanae Rotary Club approached the school to run the programme again this year having first run it in 2015.  “Rotary’s role is to provide assistance to implement the programme including workbooks, certificates, tee shirts and other incentive prizes for the participating students.”


Te Aramoana syndicate students at Waikanae School with their first incentive prize for the Healthy Heroes programme - a frisbee.  Te Aramoana syndicate students at Waikanae School with their first incentive prize for the Healthy Heroes programme - a frisbee.

Syndicate teacher Paul Hammond is the driving force behind running it at Waikanae, he said. Mr Nugent said the programme had the effect of spreading to the whole family of a student taking part, as the healthy habits are committed to by the parents and made a part of a family’s routine.

Waikanae Rotary Club president Steve Botica said the club is committed to running this successful and proven programme within the school  “We see a real benefit for the kids and parents and it fits very nicely with Rotary’s philosophy and focus on youth”.

You can find out more about the Healthy Heroes programme by clicking  here.

Lifting the Lid on Youth Suicide

Waikanae Rotary is one of 6 clubs in the Kapiti/Horowhenua cluster of Rotary District 9940 that launched a community driven programme for young people at risk.  “Lifting the Lid” on youth suicide launched at fabulous Rotary charity lunch and auction. 

At the launch Dr. Chris Bowden, School of Education, Victoria University of Wellington said  "In the year to June 2018- June 2019, 685 people died by suicide in NZ. 11 of these were 10-14 years old and 73 were 15-19 years old (and increase from 53 the year before).  The majority of these suicides, were Maori youth, young men, and students. Young people aged 15-19 have the 2nd highest rate of suicide (23.14 per 100,000) after the 20-24 year olds."

"The causes of suicide are complex, but we know that some of the most common and significant risk factors for youth are:
  • exposure to suicide and suicide bereavement
  • previous suicidal behaviour
  • a history of mental illness, addiction and problematic substance abuse
  • childhood trauma, adversity, abuse and maltreatment
  • bullying and victimisation
  • recent trouble with the law or disciplinary action
  • recent relationship breakup
  • access to means of suicide, and
  • a lack of coping and problem-solving skills.
There are many other factors."
Young people who are struggling with suicidal thinking, feelings or serious mental health issues need a lot of support from friends, family, teachers and health professionals.  Supporting suicidal young people requires a team effort and collaborative approach.  This work hard, exhausting and ongoing and the issues that need to be addressed are complex.  Mental health professionals like counsellors, psychologists, and specialist therapists are a key player in that team.
Family and whanau also need professional support so they can better care for and protect youth/rangatahi.  They often do not know how to support their child at home – they need advice, and someone to help them advocate for their child’s needs, and assistance to navigate the mental health system. 
"What this initiative does is reduce barriers, and increases accessibility of support – it makes sure that young people are not disadvantaged because of financial or other practical issues and lives will not be lost because people cannot afford professional support.
'There are small windows of opportunity – that open and close – when it comes to suicide, at risk and vulnerability."
"This initiative and fund will ensure young people get access to that window of opportunity - to get support that makes a real and lasting difference."



Emergency Response Kits

Emergency Response Kits  (ERK) were first introduced to New Zealand in 1983 as Emergency Boxes by the Rotary Club of Eastern Hutt, and enthusiastically endorsed by then District Governor, and now Past RI World President Bill Boyd.
Emergency Response Kits are used as first-response survival kits in emergencies in the South Pacific Islands, can be carried by hand and provide essential items for immediate basic needs for people to be able to camp in their damaged homes whilst they get on with cleaning up and re-establishing themselves.
Each ERK contains essential household cooking, eating and cleaning items, clothing, tools and basic carpentry items, tarpaulin, mosquito net, fish hooks, water purification tablets and a birthing kit.  The single NZ standardised filled plastic  ERK  can be used to hold up to 75 litres of water or food once the contents have been taken out.
Prepositioned stocks of ERKs are held in readiness by Rotary Clubs in Samoa, Fiji, the Cook Islands and Tonga for immediate distribution when needed, with backup and replenishment stocks of ERK’s held in Auckland ready to be air lifted or freighted by the NZ Government through NZ AID to any disaster areas in the South Pacific Islands.  Deployment is handled through the local Rotary club(s) on the affected islands. In February 2016 over 1,000 ERK’s were distributed after Cyclone Winston devastated Fiji.
The Waikanae Club, with the support of the Waikanae Baptist Op Shop, recently provided 4  Emergency Response Kits.
Nga Manu Signage Project

The Rotary Club of Waikanae has provided the funding for two large information signs at Nga Manu to better inform the visitors to the reserve.

Manager Matu Booth, said “The support of the Rotary Club has made this possible and as a trust we are forever grateful for this kind of support.

Nga Manu is a magnificent showcase of flora and fauna in the Kapiti Coast and its great to see this recognized by the Waikanae Rotary Club.”

The signs are located along the loop walk which takes visitors through the lowland swamp forest remnant and provide information about aspects of the forest ecology.

President Robert Nugent said the club was very proud to be able to help out at Nga Manu. “The signs are designed to endure outdoor conditions and should add real value to the experience of local and international visitors to the reserve for many years to come.”



Pictured at one of the new signs are  (L-R) President Robert Nugent, project manager for the sign project, David Bruce , Past President Steve Botica  and Matu Booth Manager of Nga Manu.

Rotary Youth Programme of Enrichment (RYPEN)
RYPEN is aimed at young people in the 15 –17 age group who are still at school and are not likely to be selected for Youth Exchange or later for RYLA, but who possess qualities of decency, persistence and application and who deserve further encouragement.
The young people will be presented with a series of ideas, challenges and social experiences, which will hopefully assist them in broadening their horizons socially, culturally and physically.
It is suggested that students who have participated in previous outdoor education activities do not attend e.g. Outward Bound, Spirit of New Zealand, or any college outdoor pursuit type course.
For details of the programme click here.
Matched Twin Exchange

The Rotary Australia and New Zealand Student Exchange (RANZSE) program is run by some forward thinking Rotary Districts in Australia and all districts in New Zealand.

It is designed for 14 to 16 year old students to experience a true “exchange” with a family in the other country.

Australian students arrive in New Zealand and attend school with their matched student during Term 2.  Both students return to Australia and attend the Australian student’s school during Term 3.  Each year it alternates as which country goes first.

In the past 10 years, more than 1650 students have participated in this life-changing experience.

Waikanae Rotary Club is pleased to have sponsored four students through this programme.


Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA)
RYLA 2018
The programme is a challenging five days live-in experience and is designed to unleash the participant’s leadership potential.
Each Club is encouraged to nominate one or more participants aged 18 to 24 years for this annual programme.
Rotary Clubs have the opportunity to canvass their communities for young people with leadership potential. Participants may be in employment (from trades to professionals), undertaking study, competitive sport, recipients of community awards or similar.
The RYLA website – has more information and application forms.
Applications must be submitted to the Waikanae Rotary Clubs by 30 September 2019.   Please use the Contact Us form on this site for further details.
The 2018 RYLA programme group
A testimonial from Sam Botica about his RYLA experience