Where do great projects come from? They begin with one spark that burns in one member's mind but quickly passes to others. This
one started from a club meeting on February 22nd 2019 when Rotary New Zealand World Community Service (RNZWCS) chairman Stuart Batty spoke about the great projects around the Pacific they are involved in. Stuart mentioned the main hospital in Tonga required an ambulance.  http://www.rnzwcs.org
The first ambulance was delivered in 2019 and you can read about this below. It was such a great success that we jumped at the chance to do it again in 2022 (link to the left).
Club member Roger Turner, with his St John's contacts, jumped at the opportunity. The first response was that we would have to buy the ambulance at an auction. Roger explained the project to St John's and they agreed to gift it to us. Special thanks to Tony Nunan, Craig Stockdale and Kent France from St John. http://www.stjohn.org.nz
Roger arranged Peter Land from Signwise to provide
the Tongan signage for the ambulance at a discounted
Ex-club member John Luxton from Avon City Ford
gave the Mercedes-Benz van a full service for free. http://www.avoncityford.co.nz
Rotarian Alan Foote from Pacific Direct line
arranged the shipping from Auckland to Tonga. http://www.pdl123.co.nz/
How to get the ambulance from Christchurch to Auckland? Car transporter was the easy option but expensive. Roger was due to leave for a holiday. Then club president Brad Meek saw the benefit of driving it up. Support driver club member David Watson was added and the road trip planning began. 
First step was to get the ambulance blessed
at the local Falelotu Kosipeli Methodist Church. Thank you to the wonderful people from the church and Rev Inoke Siulangapo. 
Z Energy got onboard with $500 for fuel for the drivers and the ambulance. http://z.co.nz
Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries provided free sailing for the drivers and ambulance. http://www.bluebridge.co.nz Special thanks to Mel and the team for looking after us. http://www.facebook.com/bluebridgeferry
All good road trips have stop-offs, so the call went 
out. Rotary Club Blenheim South have a Tuesday
evening meeting so we are joining them on our first day travelling north. Club member Virginia was up visiting her mother so joined us as well. Thanks President Pay Clay. Special thanks to Janice Wilson the Treasurer who put Brad and David up for the night. Hope they didn't wake you in the morning.
Next stop was Rotary Club Taupo and
club member Ian Chamberlain and his lovely family hosted Brad and David. Great discussion on Rotary events and risk managements for those events.
They made it to Auckland and after delivering the
ambulance to friends at Shuttle Express Freight who are going to make sure it arrives at the port at the correct time, two very happy but tired Rotarian's headed home. 
Great news the Rotary Club of Nuku'alofa officially handed over a new fully equipped Ambulance to the Vaiola Hospital. CEO of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Siale 'Akau'ola, officially received the keys of the Ambulance on behave of the Ministry of Health.