Taveuni Visit - Dave, followed by Mark and then Barney each gave an overview of the recent diplomatic junket on behalf of the club with their wives to view the new kindergarten block that was supported to the tune of $26,000 by the Club and the NZ High Commissioner based in Suva. Highlights included:
 Opened by the High Commissioner on 29 May 2023
 A day was put on for the group where the gifts and a plaque were presented (belatedly) noting it was a – “Joint project NZ High Commission and Wh250akatane Rotary”.
 The children spend a year at the Kindy before they move across the grounds to start their schooling at the Holy Cross Catholic Church school with 1200 primary and secondary students.
 It was satisfying to get to see the project to its completion and to see it in use by happy kids who value their opportunities for education.
 The accommodation was above expectation – staying at local homes due to lack of services  Learnings were taken from a visit to a dragon fruit orchid, how to make compost tea and a Pearl farm learning how pearls were made
 Locals were experimenting with planting in the future due to climate change and global warming. Different plants were used at different altitudes.
 A local Rotary Club project included signage to locals to keep areas clean and tidy
 Four local mats were provided to the group – one each and one to raffle to raise funds for the club – see photo below.
 The ladies thoroughly enjoyed the experience and with the kids loved them
 A programe was in place at the farm where locals were able to build themselves up by tending to plantings for 2 years, then harvesting them and taking the proceeds and their newly learned expertise to their own village to use to plant crops there.
 The winddown at Plantation Island was appreciated. The lack of maintenance due to the Covid lockdowns was obvious. Now that people were returning to the Island, they were able to get back into bringing it back up to a better standard. Local hospitality staff get $2 an hour (NZ$1.50)
 A future project at the school was to create a large sheltered area for the boarders to play in inclement weather. As it was a nice to have rather than a necessity, the Club was unlikely to become involved with that work. There were plenty of projects in Fiji within the health and education fields that needed support.
 Only half of the Island had electricity – the other half had their own generators.