Rotary Bulletin 05-09-2022

 Next Meeting – 12 September 22 – The Guest Speaker will be Dr. Russell Wills, Community, and General Pediatrician, Hawkes Bay Health Board, and former Children’s Commissioner, who will be speaking on ‘fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Our Club extends a warm welcome to all members, Friends of Rotary, their partners, and their family and friends.

Rotary Bulletin – 5 September 22  – President Brin welcomed members to the meeting including Eve Casagranda and Janice Feutz, who have indicated their desire to join the Club, Don –  Eve’s husband, and Paul Snelgrove, Guest Speaker.

TWO-MINUTE TALK: Was given by Sue Forde who advised that in 2004, just six years after the introduction of women into Rotary Clubs, she and 3 other women became Presidents of 4 of the 5 Rotary Clubs in Palmerston North.  Sue likened the inclusion of women into Rotary, given its positive effect, and identified it with the current situation with dwindling membership in that we are yet again seeking ways to invite the next generation into Clubs to ensure Rotary regains its reputation as a significant and caring organization.

GRACE: was given by Max Patmoy: Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha–olam ha-motz-i lechem min ha’ar-etz. Barah Parie Hagopian. Blessed is the Oneness that makes us holy and brings forth bread from the earth and grapes from the vines.


Mandy Kimber introduced Eve Casadranda to the Club, advising that Eve was born in Germany, moved to Alberta when she was 4 years old and then moved to Wellington, New Zealand in 1986, and then moved to Havelock North in 2017, with her husband Don.  Her career included Real Estate, both selling and property management, and Director of Client Services for On Arrival, a company that she and Don established in 1999. She has belonged to several organisations including Beta Sigma Sorority (in Canada), Lionesses, Tawa Community Theatre, Porirua Little Theatre, Porirua Rotary, St Lukes, and Keirunga Creative Arts Society.

John Pollard then introduced Janice Feutz, who was born on the West Coast of the South Island, and moved to Ashburton when she was 8 years old.  As a teenager, she loved her sport, and like many of us, found it much more fun than studying.  Netball and Cricket were her favorites, and she was a member of the first rep Mid Canterbury Women’s Cricket Team and wishes to get in touch with anyone who loves to watch the game.  John noted that the Club’s spirit had lifted in the last few weeks and was quite sure it was these two faces that had made it happen.

President Brin then inducted both Eve and Janice, giving them their Rotary dinner badges, and the lapel badges which would be a passport to enter any Rotary Club meeting in New Zealand.  Members all stood and welcomed Eve and Janice as members of the Club.   Both Eve and Janice indicated their delight in becoming members and are looking forward to working with everyone.


GUEST SPEAKER:   Rotarian Keven Longman introduced our Guest Speaker Paul Snelgrove to the Club, advising us all that Paul was an interesting person, managing a business founded (now called Tranzit) by his Grandfather, and now through prudent governance, he manages all the staff of the company in New Zealand and Australia and is also a dedicated Rotarian and a Paul Harris recipient.

Paul advised that many years ago, the company was a very different organization than it is today. One of the major directions of recent times is the necessity to meet legal requirements.  The company started in 1924 after, as a 14-year-old, his grandfather left London on a ship as one of 10 children.  In New Zealand, he joined the Mounted Police, then went to war in 1918, was gassed by enemy arms, but not badly affected.  He returned from the War and set up the Grey Bus Company in 1924.  In 1928 the business was moved from Carterton to Masterton. His father went to the Second World War, as one of 6 children, but returned safely also.  Paul’s daughter will be the fourth generation family member to have an important role in the company.  She, Jenna, is currently the General Manager of the Coaching Division, including 11,000 vehicles as a fleet of buses.  Jenna did a law degree, while Paul’s son was a diesel mechanic previously, then operated a truck and trailer business.

Tranzit is the 4th generation New Zealand-owned business.  All children had to train or study before becoming members of the staff. By 1957, the Grey Bus Company had a fleet of 12 Ford H8 buses in Masterton.  By 1991 Intercity Coachlines, as the original company was called,  purchased the company, now called Tranzit, as part of 6 family groups.  Very few family groups own such businesses now, – they have 16 double-decker buses.  In 1992 Newman’s Coachlines was purchased, then merged into the Intercity fleet.  Newmans owned a huge sector of land where many drivers are still employed as there are no buses to drive.

In 2011, at the time the Rugby World Club was held in New Zealand, the event required 20 branded coaches, carrying teams, media personnel, VIPs, and Sporting Officials.  The Company was talked into purchasing further vehicles to meet the World Cup event needs.  Every bus had to be checked every 40 minutes to ensure security measures were kept. The total success of this transporting project since then has supported many international team trips to New Zealand.

In 2022, Tranzit has a diverse portfolio of businesses in the tourism and transport industry.  It is now New Zealand’s largest family-owned bus company. There are 2000 team members, with 2020 vehicles from minivans, coaches, and school buses. In 2021 Tranzit transitioned to Hawkes Bay and took over Nimons, but in the meantime, the company has lost the entire Wairarapa travel service, unfortunately.  GO Bus has been the big winner.  However, Tranzit now has good facilities in Hawkes Bay, including school runs, which were taken over last year.  Paul indicated that he was happy with the numbers, skills, and dedication of existing drivers. 

Tranzit decided in 2014, to establish an electric bus service, purchasing them for economic, environmental, and social benefits.  The company worked with Auckland University to design electric buses and wishes to build the same construction service as international companies, to get the technology to set up its own electric bus construction company. In 2018 Tranzit introduced to New Zealand 10 New Zealand-made electric double-decker buses in Wellington.  Built-in Tauranga, including the power charging infrastructure, it was acknowledged there was a need to provide a huge supply of power to the site.  The Grenada Depot, north of Wellington was innovative in identifying a laneway designed to charge 24 buses simultaneously.  Great Chinese support was given to equip the electric-powered bus service.  There was a need to own the power before it is put into the vehicle.  The Repower project established was the first in the Southern Hemisphere.   Repower Auckland trials were a great success as identified in July 2022.  What next?  It is recognized that 55ms per kph is the objective.  33% of the bus drivers are female, including a good percentage in management.

John thanked Paul for his intricate and informative talk.  He believed that the Club learned a lot from it, and what a marvelous job Paul’s family has done, noting “It is not where you go – it is how you get there that counts”.


The following announcements were made:

  •  Brin advised that many members would be away next week and it is also a partners’ evening.  Trish Giddens will chair the meeting.
  • Members’ health issues were updated, including those of Andy Duncan, Bill Riley, and his wife Karin, Charlie Fergus, and Brian Hutchinson.

PARTING THOUGHT  from Max Patmoy:   “The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new”  Socrates

CLUB CALENDAR 12 September 19 September 26 September
Event/Speaker Dr. Russell Wills, former
Children’s Commissioner:
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum
Naill Mc Cormick
Eye Care for Africa.
Presentation of Eyewear.
Club Assembly and
Committee Meetings
Cashier Dufty Schnell Schnell
Badges, Grace & Parting Thought Ellengold Pollard Feutz
2-minute talk Prebble Spackman Longman
Sergeant Mayne Kimber Good News
Speaker’s Orderly Giddens Mayne Randal
Vote of Thanks Wake Holford Dufty

Sue Forde
Bulletin Editor.