Kerry Prendergast

Member since November 2000

As I asked what the highlight has been during her 20 years with Rotary, no time was spared to think hard about the question. It was obvious for her; “getting a Paul Harris fellow… but mostly it’s about interacting with a variety of people that make up Rotary.”

Kerry has been a part of Rotary since 1992 when she joined the Tawa Club.

At the time she was a Tawa Borough councillor, and being a part of Rotary gave her the opportunity to “interact …and network with a different group of people to help me in my role”.

In 2000 she then moved to the Wellington City Council, which also brought her membership into the RCW.

After being approached by the RCW she thought “it would be appropriate now … [to] be a member of a club which had much more focus in terms of business people for me to be able to network with”.

She found that it “became even more critical over the 6 years I was deputy mayor, and in the 9 years when I was mayor…. to be able to make the time to meet and listen to, and on occasions inform, Wellington Rotarians of what was happening in the local government space in Wellington.”

Due to her mayoral commitments she regrets not having the time to be involved in the clubs sub-committees, but during that time she “hosted functions on behalf of Rotary in the chamber… [and] also hosted visiting Rotarians in [her] office or in council chamber.”

One project she was able to get involved with while in office was chairing for 2-3 years as a fundraising project manager. The project was a “working party for a combined Rotary project which was to put a viewing platform into the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary”.

“Since finishing up as mayor I have been able to attend much more regularly and I am also now involved with the fundraising committee and able to have more input to that using my networking and contact ability.”

She thought of herself as “lucky”, being in her local government role and involved with Rotary as well. Having the ability to “maximise networking opportunities to the benefit of both the city and Rotary” was one of the most important and rewarding outcomes of her role.

A growing concern of hers is the future membership numbers for Wellington. “I think the difficulties around our Rotary Club is how old it is and the impression, or the perception that it may be elitist.”

The Wellington Club has “significant Wellingtonians involved with it” which could perhaps deter potential business people from getting involved.

She has noticed over the years that the “average age [of the members] tends to be getting older”.

“I think those of us who are younger, although getting older, need to make sure that we continue to tap people in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s” and ask them to get involved. She feels that by actively engaging and involving people from 30 years of age it will continue to keep the club “rejuvenated and fresh”.

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