During September, as well as continuing with club visits, I had the opportunity to attend the District Governor Symposium and Zone 8 conference in Christchurch New Zealand. As it was my first visit to the city since the major earthquake in 2011, I was shocked by the level of damage which occurred in the centre of the city (as evidenced by the vacant lots and the building work still continuing). However, spirits in the city are high and the inhabitants are just getting on with life. It is still a beautiful and very English city with lots of things to do. It was rewarding to spend time with our DG classmates, discuss common issues and share ideas. 
The ruins of Christchurch Cathedral looking at where the spire was.
We were also fortunate to be joined at the symposium and a dinner with all the Australian and New Zealand DGs by RI President Mark Moloney and his wife Gay. It was a most enjoyable social gathering. 
RI President Mark and wife Gay joining us for dinner in Christchurch
At the Zone level, (Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands) Rotary International has approved of a regional pilot project to establish a regional structure to significantly increase the reach and impact of Rotary and Rotaract in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. A planning group has been formed to develop this project and they will be looking for input to a series of reference groups.