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NEWS RELEASE: Rotary Club of Wellington

Friday, 18 October, 2012

Rotary Forum raises questions on Wellington’s future

How should Wellington look in 10 or 20 years’ time? Should our future be left only in the hands of planners and politicians? What say will citizens have in the shape and future of Wellington and the region?

These are just some of the questions to be covered at a comprehensive one-day forum to be held in Wellington this Thursday 25 October.

The 2012 Rotary Forum, titled ‘Wellington; What do we want? How do we get there?’ will bring together experts, thinkers, leaders and people who can make a difference in building the kind of Wellington in which people want to live and work.

Hosted by the Rotary Club of Wellington in partnership with Victoria University, Rotary spokesperson Mark Woodard said the forum is a rare opportunity to hear a programme of leading speakers kick-start discussions you can be part of about our city and region’s future.

“We want participants to leave the forum better informed, confident that their views have been imparted and heard, and motivated to contribute to Wellington’s future. Wellington is what we make it and people can be part of shaping it – all of which needs be sorted before we discuss the structure of local government,” Mr Woodard said.

Notable speakers include Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Rod Oram, Matiu Rei, Grant Robertson, former City Missioner Susan Blaikie, former head of Kiwibank Sam Knowles, environmentalist Wayne Alexander, and a panel of passionate young people, plus the Mayors of Wellington, Porirua, Upper Hutt and the Chair of the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

“Last year’s Rotary Forum topic was ‘organisational effectiveness in times of seismic risk’ – how Wellington organisations could learn from the Canterbury earthquakes. This year there’s just as much at stake in considering Wellington’s future, and this forum will provide an important input into our future”, says Mr Woodard. “We know the speakers will have very useful things to say and we expect many of the attendees will have some strong views as well.”

The one-day 2012 Rotary Forum is on Thursday, 25 October at Victoria University, Rutherford House, Pipitea Campus, Bunny Street. The full programme and registration is available at



Rotary Club of Wellington

Media contact: Mark Woodard

Mobile: 027 577 4120

Phone: 04 971 7882



Media are welcome to attend. To register your interest please contact Mark Woodard (above) or

Fraser Carson, FRESCO, PHONE 04 499 4938 or 021 669 101 or

Rotary Forum raises questions on Wellington's future

25 OCTOBER 2012


Host for the Day: Hewitt Humphrey

Radio New Zealand Broadcaster and President of the Rotary Club of Wellington (2012). 

8.30 - 9.00 Registration

9:00 – 10:00 Welcome


Hewitt Humphrey, President, Rotary Club of Wellington  


Keynote: Sir Geoffrey Palmer, former Prime Minister and Chair of the Wellington Region Local Government Review Panel.


"Wellington what do we want? - What the independent Review Panel learned during its engagement process."


Youth perspectives – introduced by Professor James Liu, Academic Director for the Forum and Professor of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington  

Brittany Trilford, Queen Margaret College, International Youth Speaker at the Rio+20 Earth Summit  

Ben Guerin, Scots College, finalist in the Rotary Club of Wellington Eureka awards for young science orators 2012  

William Guzzo, Victoria University of Wellington, finalist in the Rotary Club of Wellington Eureka awards for young science orators 2012

Rangimarie Teautama, Wellington East Girls' College, Winner of the Koromiko trophy for the senior English section at the Nga Manu Korero speaking competitions

10:00 – 10:10 Short break

10:10 - 11:10

Session #1: Community Leadership and Local Governance Frameworks – What Do We Know?


Peter McKinlay, Director, Local Government Centre, AUT 

Matiu Rei, Executive Director, Te Runanga O Toa Rangatira  

Prof Peter Hughes, Head, School of Government, Victoria University  

Panel and discussion

(chaired by Hewitt Humphrey ) 

11:10 – 11:30 Morning Tea

11:30 – 12:30  

Session #2: Who Makes the Decisions About the Kind of Community We Get?


Rod Oram, media commentator and Sunday Star Times columnist

Hon David Caygill, former Minister, Deputy Chair, Environment Canterbury 

Mary-Jane Rivers, founder and Trustee of Inspiring  Communities   

Panel and discussion

(chaired by Hewitt Humphrey )

12:30 – 1:30 Lunch

1:30 – 2:40  

Session #3: Options for Wellington:  What Do We Want?


Sam Knowles, Company Director, former CEO of Kiwibank 

Dave Gibson, Producer and Chair, Gibson Group 

Susan Blaikie, former Wellington City Missioner 

Wayne Alexander, Environmental Activist 

Panel and discussion

(chaired by Hewitt Humphrey)

2:40 – 3:00 Afternoon Tea

3:00 – 4:10  

Session #4: Reflections and Perspectives From Local Government Leaders

The Mayors and the Chair of Greater Wellington have been invited to build on the other sessions and address three questions:

What kind of Wellington are you trying to create?

Where do you stand on who should make the decisions and how?

What are you going to do about it?


Celia Wade-Brown, Mayor of Wellington 

Nick Leggett , Mayor of Porirua 

Wayne Guppy, Mayor of Upper Hutt 

Hon Fran Wilde, Chair, Greater Wellington Regional Council 

Panel and discussion (chaired by Pat Walsh ) 

4:10 – 4:15 Short break
4:15 – 4:45

Forum Summary and Lessons for Wellington

Grant Robertson, MP for Wellington Central 
4:45 – 5:00

Forum Closure and Call to Action

Hewitt Humphrey, President , Rotary Club of Wellington 


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