Plimmerton Rotary

Community Organisation

Plimmerton Rotary
The Mana Cruising Club
Ngatitoa Domain (off Pascoe Avenue)
Paremata
Porirua 5024 on Tuesday evenings only
26 days ago

Cameron Bagrie

Rhondda Sweetman from Plimmerton Rotary

Our guest speaker this week was Cameron Bagrie, well-known guru on economic affairs, and a trustee of Life Education.

The main thrust of his forthright talk was that we should expect relentless change and disruption across the economy and society. Netflix, AirBnB, and E-scooters were unknown … View more
Our guest speaker this week was Cameron Bagrie, well-known guru on economic affairs, and a trustee of Life Education.

The main thrust of his forthright talk was that we should expect relentless change and disruption across the economy and society. Netflix, AirBnB, and E-scooters were unknown just a few years ago and now they are fixed in the public consciousness. These are technology-driven disruptors.

Demographic trends are driving new behaviours, too. The 64+ age group is growing fast, and the attitudes of younger workers are different. Who will take over the small firms when their owners want to retire?

To succeed in an era of disruption and rapid change our businesses need to adapt, so we need to encourage risk-takers and be more accepting of failure. Complacency is in itself a high-risk attitude. Sectors which in the past have relied on capital gains, such as farming (and especially dairying), will have to innovate more energetically.

There is an unhealthy focus on short-term results and returns to shareholders rather than the needs of customers over the long term. This needs to change. A quick win usually leads to long-term loss.

Cameron considers housing affordability, child poverty and mental illness as national disgraces, and while the ‘wellbeing’ budget shows good aspiration, so far the execution has been poor. Government debt at 20% of GDP is very low and since the government can borrow at low interest rates, it should do so. But then there are resource constraints, especially skilled labour, so projects can be poor value for money.

To future-proof our quality of life, we should invest more in our children, and pay our teachers more. Children need to be financially literate, a mission which Life Education is embracing.

Cameron’s take on economics was wide-ranging, stimulating, disturbing at times, but far from dismal.

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39 days ago

Does Z Energy have a future?

Rhondda Sweetman from Plimmerton Rotary

Our guest speaker this week was Chris Durno, formerly of OPUS, the London Underground, and Kiwirail, and now chief strategist at Z Energy, where he has been for seven years. He is a personable Canterbury-trained engineer and therefore can turn his hand to anything, including finance, marketing and … View moreOur guest speaker this week was Chris Durno, formerly of OPUS, the London Underground, and Kiwirail, and now chief strategist at Z Energy, where he has been for seven years. He is a personable Canterbury-trained engineer and therefore can turn his hand to anything, including finance, marketing and branding.
Z is a dominant player, and heavily invested, in the fuels industry. It imports, refines (via Marsden Point), stores, distributes and sells about 45% of fuels used in New Zealand. It has an unrivalled network of service stations, now including Caltex. It is going to great lengths to make its core business as efficient as possible.
Z is in a sector that has changed little in the last 100 years. The auto industry has traditionally been closely tied to the oil fuel sector. But change is coming: there is a drive towards renewable energy and electric vehicles. By the late 2020s EVs will be as cheap to buy and cheaper to run than internal combustion types. By 2040, 50% of annual sales and 40% of the national fleet will be EVs.
So the problem facing Z is that the demand for oil fuel, its core product, is falling. Fuel sales peaked in 2018 and have now entered a period of steady decline.
Z’s response is twofold: to increase its share of the declining fuel market, and to invest in new products and services outside its traditional core business.
Z will, for example, sell more coffee and give quicker service to forecourt customers. The ‘customer experience’ will improve.
More importantly, Z will start to invest outside its current position. Targets are ‘future fuels’, (biofuels, fuel cells etc), electricity trading (Z has bought Flick), and ‘mobility as a service’. Presumably the latter includes ride sharing and autonomous vehicles.
Z will have to reinvent itself to survive. This is a big challenge and they will face stiff competition from new and specialist players. Good luck!

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53 days ago

Plimmerton Rotary Changeover

Rhondda Sweetman from Plimmerton Rotary

At a glittering evening spent in the Grand Hall at Parliament to celebrate the end of a successful year and the exciting start of a new one, outgoing President Donna Reed covered the many successes and achievements that had occurred during her year. She reflected widely on how she came to join … View moreAt a glittering evening spent in the Grand Hall at Parliament to celebrate the end of a successful year and the exciting start of a new one, outgoing President Donna Reed covered the many successes and achievements that had occurred during her year. She reflected widely on how she came to join Rotary, her time as President, and the club’s achievements in the past year.

During her time teaching in Thailand, Donna came across several examples of the good works of the Rotary movement and became involved herself through Interact and Rotaract. On her return, she joined our club and has been active in many ways, including spending three years on the District Youth Committee.

Donna took up the Presidency without having any experience in a similar role, and she recognised the personal growth that followed from that.

She recalled the objectives which were set a year ago and reviewed how the club had performed.

When the club’s activities over twelve months are set out together we see how busy and productive we are. Donna listed an extraordinary range of achievements: Friendship Exchanges, Te Ara Piko development, clean-ups, speech contests and leadership awards, fundraising, migrant literacy, and a host of other things.

The speaker programme has been memorable, too, with an emphasis on maternal and child health.

Donna was particularly proud of the ‘Women in Rotary’ initiative, which is very evident in our own club.

Donna concluded by presenting the 2018-19 Club Achievement Award to Adrienne Murray, which was greeted warmly by those present.

67 days ago

Duck Creek Clean-Up

Rhondda Sweetman from Plimmerton Rotary

Deb Mair sends thanks to the twenty-five hardy volunteers who helped to clean up Duck Creek on Saturday. The community cleanup brought volunteers together to clean and improve public spaces and streams around Whitby. Maori believe the health of the people is intimately connected to the spiritual … View moreDeb Mair sends thanks to the twenty-five hardy volunteers who helped to clean up Duck Creek on Saturday. The community cleanup brought volunteers together to clean and improve public spaces and streams around Whitby. Maori believe the health of the people is intimately connected to the spiritual force of the streams and rivers. When local residents and students feel a connection, then we are all in a better position to assist Mother Nature. Recovered by the volunteers were four cones, one tyre, two carpets, a tent, two broken plastic chairs, three footballs, numerous tennis balls and twenty-three bags of rubbish from in and around our local waterway, stopping it from flowing downstream into the ocean via the Inlet. Our local tuna (longfin eels) were happy to see us and looked in good condition.

67 days ago

Jaqueline (Jaqs) Wilton from English Language Partners Porirua.

Rhondda Sweetman from Plimmerton Rotary

Jaqueline (Jaqs) Wilton heads English Language Partners Porirua. Jaqs has an impressive background in ESOL (English as a second language) and working in developing countries.
ELPP is one of several organisations around the country whose mission is to teach English to refugees, migrants and … View more
Jaqueline (Jaqs) Wilton heads English Language Partners Porirua. Jaqs has an impressive background in ESOL (English as a second language) and working in developing countries.
ELPP is one of several organisations around the country whose mission is to teach English to refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers. They also provide social support to speed the settlement of the arrivals into the community.
New arrivals who have no or little English face huge challenges and can become marginalised or isolated. Refugees, defined as those who are fleeing persecution in their own countries, tend to arrive with few possessions and little education, but they are energetic and resilient.
The ELPP Trust is a registered primary training organisation currently working with 170 refugees and 120 migrants, coming from 41 ethnic backgrounds. They have 24 staff and 60 volunteers.
There are multiple threads to ELPP’s training which cater for different levels of accomplishment and the circumstances of the refugees.
NZ Certificates in English Language are offered, which can lead into tertiary studies or the workplace. At the beginner level there are ‘mums and tots’ groups, and home tutor volunteers who visit 70+ families for a couple of hours each week.
New Zealand has a commitment to accept refugees, and a less formal obligation to help them settle and become productive. The ELPP is working at the sharp end of this task, going about its business quietly and effectively.

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