Plimmerton Rotary

Community Organisation

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

Plimmerton Rotary and the Life Education Trust

Rhondda Sweetman from Plimmerton Rotary

Our club has had a strong relationship with the Life Education Trust over many years. Last night John O’Connell, the Trust’s CEO, told the club about an initiative it was developing under the banner ‘Game Changers’.

The Trust’s traditional work among primary and intermediate students, … View more
Our club has had a strong relationship with the Life Education Trust over many years. Last night John O’Connell, the Trust’s CEO, told the club about an initiative it was developing under the banner ‘Game Changers’.

The Trust’s traditional work among primary and intermediate students, based around mobile classrooms, will continue nationwide. ‘Game Changers’ is focussed on secondary students, particularly 15-16 year olds.

The underlying idea is to intercept the behaviour of young people at the transition points in their lives, and have their insights move beyond the school and into their families.

This year the Trust will roll out the first of several threads under the Game Changers banner, ‘The Great Brain Robbery’. (This was the title of a book by Tom Scott written in the 1990’s, which dealt with the effects of cannabis on developing brains.)

The statistics around our youth abusing alcohol and substances (mostly cannabis) are alarming, and the effect of this on brain development can be profound.

To promote a responsible attitude to drink and drugs, Life Ed has franchised a UK-origin programme called ‘Smashed’ in which three young actors role-play and workshop drunkenness and drug-taking. The programme has proved to be a success in the UK and has been running for 10 years. The Trust reviewed it in Australia where it was first franchised, and adapted it for local language and culture.

‘Smashed’ will be taken around the country shortly. A third of secondary schools have already signed up for it, the actors have been engaged, and the programme has been rehearsed. We wish the Trust well in its new endeavour.

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9 days ago

The Circle of Courage

Rhondda Sweetman from Plimmerton Rotary

Last night’s speaker was educator Lloyd Martin of Titahi Bay, who has spent many years helping disaffected students in Porirua.

In an interactive presentation, Lloyd had us contemplating events from our own childhoods, and their long-term effects.

He introduced us to the idea of responding … View more
Last night’s speaker was educator Lloyd Martin of Titahi Bay, who has spent many years helping disaffected students in Porirua.

In an interactive presentation, Lloyd had us contemplating events from our own childhoods, and their long-term effects.

He introduced us to the idea of responding to needs, rather than reacting to problems.

A modern tool for engaging with young people is the Circle of Courage, which crystalises their needs under four headings: Belonging, Mastery, Independence and Generosity. If one (or more) of these needs is not met, there will be problems.

The young need to feel a sense of belonging to a group, hopefully one which acts in a positive way. The group could be family, a club or sports team.

Mastery of a skill is a positive process which helps grow self-esteem. The young are hard-wired to learn from their elders and react well to being told they are good at something.

Independence might seem to be in tension with belonging, but young people need the opportunity to make decisions and take responsibility. Lloyd regretted the modern tendency to de-risk and overprotect the young.

Generosity, regard for the needs of others, is a more difficult concept but is a predictor of resilience- the ability to meet the problems and tragedies which life invariably brings.

Lloyd’s presentation, with its examples and insights, struck a strong chord with our members and led to lively questioning and an enthusiastic vote of thanks.

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23 days ago

Maisy Bentley visits the United Nations in New York

Rhondda Sweetman from Plimmerton Rotary

Our speaker this week was Maisy Bentley, a teenager until last week but with experience far beyond her years.

Maisy is well-known to the club, having spoken at the Women’s Suffrage Celebration in 2017. She already has credentials as a relentless activist in the cause of women’s and young … View more
Our speaker this week was Maisy Bentley, a teenager until last week but with experience far beyond her years.

Maisy is well-known to the club, having spoken at the Women’s Suffrage Celebration in 2017. She already has credentials as a relentless activist in the cause of women’s and young people’s rights, through her school and university years. She has worked with charities, NGOs, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the YWCA.

In support of the New Zealand National Statement on Women, she researched the efforts of other countries, especially their welfare provisions in, for example, domestic violence, pensions, transport and childcare.

In March, Maisy was New Zealand’s Youth Delegate to the annual conference of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, a large event hosted by the UN in New York. This is the most important policy-making body in the field of women’s rights.

She explained how the conference functioned and how policy was negotiated, both in the formal sessions and off-line in smaller breakout groups. It was possible to engage with the UN’s top brass, including the Secretary-General.

The outcome of the conference was a 300-page policy document, a miracle of compromise among the nations.

Maisy concluded with some observations about youth engagement in policy-making, which the older generation is finding challenging because they lag behind in social media.

Maisy is now back at Victoria and her studies in Law and International Development. No doubt she will be able to teach her lecturers a thing or two about international diplomacy.

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31 days ago

The Todd Motors Story

Rhondda Sweetman from Plimmerton Rotary

Yorkshire is a part of England famous for its hardnosed businessmen and its unrelenting pessimism. ‘Clogs to clogs in three generations’ is a Yorkshire saying which suggests that a business built up from nothing by its founder will flare brightly under his and his own son’s guidance but will … View moreYorkshire is a part of England famous for its hardnosed businessmen and its unrelenting pessimism. ‘Clogs to clogs in three generations’ is a Yorkshire saying which suggests that a business built up from nothing by its founder will flare brightly under his and his own son’s guidance but will be ruined by the profligate ways of the spoiled grandson when he eventually gets his hands on the reins and the chequebook.
This doesn’t always happen, as witness the Todd Corporation, which is the largest private business in New Zealand, and still essentially owned and controlled by the Todd family.
Mike Todd, deputy chair of the Todd Corporation is in the fifth generation of the dynasty and told us the fascinating story of Todd Motors, where he had been Marketing Director.
Charles Todd and his son, Charles Jr, were wool scourers and stock agents in Otago but moved into the fledgeling motor industry by building a garage in 1912. Young Desmond joined the business at sixteen, and the next twenty years saw Todd motors become a real force in the growing but volatile motor industry. At various times the company were importers of Ford, Gray, Wolseley, Maxwell and Oakland vehicles.
Eventually, Todd’s settled on Chrysler, and because of Commonwealth preference tariffs, Rootes Motors cars from the UK. During the depression, the government incentivised local assembly, so in 1935 a plant was built along the Hutt Road in Petone.
During the war car production ceased and the factory was turned over to the war effort. The motor industry recovered slowly post-war, with priority being given to tractor production and refurbishment of pre-war vehicles.
Demand recovered in the 1950s and Todd Motors expanded rapidly, with 100+ dealerships selling cars under the Plymouth, Hillman, De Soto and Humber brands. At this point, John Todd, son of Desmond and father of Mike, joined the firm as an 18-year-old trainee. In 1968 he became managing director of Todd Motors.
A new and larger factory was needed, which Todds opened in Porirua in 1975. It was the biggest in the country and could make 20,000 cars per year with its 1500 staff.
There was a switch to cars sourced from Mitsubishi, which proved very successful, but the writing was on the wall, with the government determined to remove heavy industry protection. In 1987 the whole Todd Motors business was sold to Mitsubishi, who eventually decommissioned the plant and removed it to Thailand.
By this time Todd Corporation was involved in a host of other sectors, particularly energy.

37 days ago

Elder Abuse

Rhondda Sweetman from Plimmerton Rotary

Sue Adams addressed us on the subject of Elder Abuse- a topic almost unheard of only a few years ago but now much more in the public consciousness.

Sue explained that she had been part-owner of a fashion store back in the day, but decided to become a social worker following a distressing … View more
Sue Adams addressed us on the subject of Elder Abuse- a topic almost unheard of only a few years ago but now much more in the public consciousness.

Sue explained that she had been part-owner of a fashion store back in the day, but decided to become a social worker following a distressing incident in her shop.

She retrained and has been working in a wide variety of roles ever since, for hospitals, medical centres, the Department of Justice and latterly in private practice. She specialises in mediation, which takes her into challenging areas such as family disputes, child custody, employment and religious matters.

She is now a member of a group lobbying the government to support elder harm interventions. She is also involved in the Korero Tahi research project which is studying 20 cases to see whether restorative processes are effective.

The statistics around elder harm are sobering. There is rapid growth in the 65+ age group, and it is thought that up to 37% of older people may have been abused in some way. The abuse takes many forms: psychological, financial, physical, neglect, sexual, and institutional.

Abuse is poorly reported, mostly because 75% of abusers are family members, with 50% being adult children, both male and female. Over 50% of victims are over 80. Often victims blame themselves, have dementia, or don’t know who to turn to.
Warning signs include injuries, fear, and unpaid bills.

The effects can be dire, leading to loss of independence, loss of home and/or savings, dignity and self-esteem.

A difficult and depressing subject, which Sue dealt with in her usual restrained but determined manner.

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