Peter E welcomed our guest speaker Past District Governor, and Rotary Ahuriri member, Mike Smith.
Mike spoke about his recent holiday in the Chatham Islands.
Mike enjoyed the experience immensely and came away with some great impressions of the terrain, vegetation, the people, wildlife, and businesses on the Islands … he also visited Pitt Island.

Highlights included the statue of Tommy Solomon believed to be the last full-blood Moriori, the butterfly garden, and fabulous seafood meals.
As he was on a tour he traveled over many of the 187km of metal roads and saw petrel nesting sites, perhaps he didn’t have time to do any fishing.

Mike described in detail a young man who has established a very successful seafood industry.
D T was head boy and captain of 1st Fifteen at Lindisfarne when he came home to the farm of his forebears,  6 generations on the Chatham’s.

In his first year at home, the shipping of stock to the mainland ceased and the killing plant closed down so he and his father spent that year shooting all the sheep.  There was no future in farming.

Mike was thanked by Phil, who replenished his Rotary Pathway Coin supply as a thank you.He then moved to Melbourne to study marketing ultimately getting a Ph.D. and a similarly qualified wife. They returned to the island and are now operating as Chatham Island Food Company producing Blue Cod caught by 51 contracted fishermen all using boats with cameras that record adherence to quota and industry standards. Just one harvest per boat per day with all fish quickly chilled and returned to port for further processing and export to NZ restaurants and other customers.
13,000 customers and 4.5tonne per week caught and processed. 18 staff all in full PEP operate a machine imported from the USA, fish is filleted checked for bones, and frozen and packed. There were international markets too but interrupted by covid.

Paua is also sold as a minced product and as a further processing venture made into Paua Pies made on the West Coast. Sales speak for themselves with 100 pies sold in December to 10,000.  The Chatham’s have crayfish too!!
Mike was thanked by Phil,
who replenished his Rotary Pathway
Coin supply as a thank you.