Seeking applications to prepare a centennial history of Rotary in New Zealand (due 15 April 2018)

Centennial History of Rotary in New Zealand

Applications are invited from qualified historians to prepare a centennial history of the Rotary movement in New Zealand.

Begun in Chicago in 1905, Rotary was established in New Zealand in 1921 when clubs were set up in both Wellington and Auckland. The idea was that men from a range of vocations would meet together on a non-political and non-religious basis to enjoy fellowship and work for the betterment of their community. The abiding principle was service above self.

Over the subsequent century Rotary in New Zealand expanded to over 200 clubs and 8000 members. It has made a huge contribution to the improvement of New Zealand society through grants and direct assistance in many fields of social enterprise – the welfare of children, education, public health, the environment, encouraging the local economy. Many voluntary institutions were kick-started by Rotary.

The history will tell this important story. It will describe the development of Rotary as an institution – its changing composition, its geographical spread, its ways of working – against the wider context of New Zealand society and culture. It will explore and explain the different forms of service undertaken by Rotary over the years, bringing out the impact which Rotary initiatives have had on the communities of New Zealand and the Pacific. Case studies of notable projects will feature. It will also establish what was distinctive about the New Zealand contribution to the international Rotary movement.

Although the book will obviously be of interest to members of Rotary, this is an important story for all New Zealanders, so it should be made accessible to a wide audience. The history of Rotary is in large part a reflection of the social, economic and cultural history of New Zealand over the past century.

The book will be about 80,000 words in length, accurate, scholarly and well researched, but written in a lively style and with an imaginative and abundant use of illustrations. The historian will be expected to help locate the images. The manuscript must be completed by July 2020 to allow time for publication in the centenary year, 2021.

The historian will work with a committee including Rotary members; and it is anticipated that some oral histories and a website containing contributions from members will provide some research materials for the historian.

Applicants should present a proposal which outlines an approach to the history.
The proposal should also include:
• a time-table for the preparation of the book,
• a breakdown of costs specifying both a salary and research expenses,
• a curriculum vitae and examples of previous work.

For further enquiries and background information contact:
Jock Phillips at mobile: 0274875672 or email:

All applications are to be received by 15 April, 2018; and should be sent to:
Jock Phillips
36 Hargreaves St.,