Rotary's Global Reach

Last updated 5 September 2022

Rotary started in Chicago in February 1905 due to the vision of Paul Harris, a successful businessman, who brought together a group of like-minded people to work with him to deliver on that vision.

The motto was and remains “Service above Self” and focuses on 7 areas.

Rotary has now expanded through 220 countries with their differing cultures globally. As an organization our statistics are impressive.

  • Representation in more than 46,000 clubs around the world.
  • Over 1.4 million members globally.
  • 47 million hours in raw voluntary work.
  • Expenditure of $337 million on global service initiatives. 

Our branch and club structure allows us to deliver the necessary help and aid direct to where it is needed without leakage to maximise the benefits of its programmes.

Rotary is not political, but it influences Regional and Central Governments as well as the United Nations. We transcend national boundaries yet continue to respect all nations' independent sovereignty and culture.

Being such a large organisation, it's paramount that we stay committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and embrace religious freedom without being a religion. Our membership spans a wide range of faiths and cultures.

In a fast changing and ever larger world, whenever we do something, we apply the Four Way Test to maintain strong ethical integrity:

Rotary NZ World Comunity Services

News — Rotary New Zealand World Community Service for news on our current activities. . 

Nelson Rotary's International Projects 

Vaccination of Children

Give Every Child A Future.

To mark the Rotary Centenary in Australasia and the Pacific, Rotary is partnering with UNICEF to deliver three vaccines that will not only saves lives but prevent many diseases that can cause life-long suffering with the ambitious goal to reach 100,000 children over 3 years. The first two vaccines will protect babies and children from life-threatening rotavirus diarrhea and pneumococcal disease. The third will protect girls and women from papillomavirus (HPV), the infection that can cause cervical and other cancers.

In-Kind Donations

A Combined Club Initiative Meeting A Never-Ending Need.

Collecting in-kind donations and the repurposing of equipment to areas of need within the Pacific. Examples of in-kind donations include goods like health & medical and educational equipment & stationary, clothing and building materials, as well as carpentry and engineering tools.

Education Facilities

Volunteer labour commitment across clubs

In recent years members have given their time with other Rotarians in: Ambrym Island, Vanuatu - rebuilding a school three classroom block destroyed by Cyclone Pam. Taveuni Island, Fiji – Assisting the Rotary Club of Taveuni Island with its major construction project constructing schoolteacher houses at schools on the island.


An official Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade programme.

Each year an ELTO (English Language Tuition for Officials of South East Asian Countries) group comes to Nelson Rotary and present to our club meeting including a meet and greet prior to the meeting. This provides an opportunity to practice both their English and in presenting to an overseas audience.

Humanitarian Projects

Shelter box and emergency relief kits

These are used for response to natural disasters, in particular in the Pacific though this year we have made a special grant to go to humanitarian aid to support the victims and displaced of the Ukraine.

Polio Plus

A programme with the objective to eliminate Polio worldwide

Polio Plus remains a flagship Rotary International programme in conjunction with the WHO (World Health Organisation) and The Gates Foundation. This programme, over 35 years is very close to achieving its objectives with only a handful of cases now being detected each year.

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