New Zealand, D9930

Citrus Fruit Drive

Each year, club members are involved in the collection of citrus fruit off trees owned by local Taradale people who willingly give their fruit to this cause.

Up to 18 bins are collected by members and these are shipped to the South Island where recipient Rotary Clubs distribute the fruit to elderly people, particularly Resthomes, where they are gratefully received.

Some historical points of interest extracted from Bulletin reports:

  • The first mention of the collection is made in the Bulletin of 1979. Kel Tremain organised a Citrus drive for Atawhai. 130 cases of fruit were collected. Some was also sent to Princess Alexandra Hospital.

  • In 1980 citrus was collected and distributed to people in Tairei. A citrus drive has been help every year since this first one.

  • In 1981 its was reported that the "citrus drive runs into unexpected costs. $400 for transport to the South Island."

The 1988 collection team.

L-R Tony Trent, Brian Neilson, Dennis Swan,-,-,Kevyn Moore, Jim Dine,-,Wally Dixon, Bob Knappstein,-,-

  • However 1982 reports a "successful drive supported by Pakeke Lions. 5 tonnes collected; 3 tonnes to Dunedin for distribution by Rotarians to pensioner flats; 2 tonnes to Upper Hutt." This is the first mention of the Club's relationship with the Pakeke Lions which lasted until that club disbanded in 1997.

  • 1991 Successful citrus drive in conjunction with Pakeke Lions. Dispatched to Mosgiel

  • 1997 Very successful citrus drive; fruit sent to Dunedin North for distribution to the elderly.

  • 1998 Citrus drive fills 25 bins. Ahuriri Club take extra fruit. Assistance given by ex-Pakeke Lions members.

The 1991 collection team

L to R: -,Bill Hawkins, Leith Peddie, Richard Spence, Gil Cooper,-,Gil Atkins, Trevor Kilpatrick, Bob Knappstein, Bruce McLeod, Ron Schofield, Yick Gee,-, Arthur Stafford

  • 2001 30-35 members help with the collection and sorting

  • 2002 Surplus fruit  raised $325 from juicing. This is an innovation which raises funds to offset costs.

  • 2003 Successful citrus drive. Fruit sent to Dunedin with excess going to Bayview for juicing.


1997. Wally Dixon (Pakeke Lions) and Keith Lines

  • 2005 Another successful drive with enough retained for juicing locally. 26 bins dispatched to Dunedin.

  • 2006 Ross Pinkham sent the following report from the Otago Times.

  • 2008 24 bins to Dunedin;  10 Bins to Brownlee Bros. earn $1700.


 A record packing effort by Dunedin Rotary Club members and volunteers meant Les Cleveland’s annual citrus drive was successfully completed for the 24th time on Saturday. 

1997. Bryan Dillon loads them up.

2007.The fruit arrives in Dunedin and collectors help with the distribution.

2007. Les Cleveland, Dunedin. Les has co-ordinated distribution in the South Island, for many years.

The Cleveland Foundation  co-ordinator had 9 tonnes of grapefruit, oranges and lemons were packed and sent to social service agencies, food banks, the elderly and the needy around Otago.  

Sourced from the Taradale Rotary Club in Hawkes Bay, the fruit took a mere 20 minutes to be packed by about 50 people. There was enough fruit this year for the Tawa Rotary Club in Wellington, to be involved, Mr Cleveland said. 

“We like to spread it around – that’s the logic of it. It’s a wonderful project.”

2007. The Collection Process  

Robin Arnold

Brian Neilson and Brian Wright

Brian Wright and Brian Kirk

Gilbert Atkins

Ian Atkins. Gilbert Atkins and Alan Monk in rear.

Brian Wright, Robbie Symons and Robin Arnold have a morning tea break from sorting.

Fruit ready for shipping

Peter Warmke helps David Drake

David Drake sorting

Forklift loads the binned fruit for shipping.

Consignment ready to move to Dunedin

Brian Dillon and Peter Warmke discuss weighty matters after the fruit has finally moved off.

2011. End of a Wonderful Project


In August the last Citrus Drive collection occurred. Despite being a very successful project, Rotary Club of Dunedin advised us in March 2012 that prohibitive costs meant they could no longer continue with this project.  A sad end to a project that has lasted over 30 years.

In May 2013 it was reported that Les Cleveland had died. Les was key to the success of the project during the latter years of the project, organising the receipt of the fruit and its eventual distribution to resthomes.