Rod Kestle introduced fellow member Phil Aish who has been a neighbour for 41-years. Rod shared a particular story involving a noisy bull parked overnight in a trailer outside Phil’s place in their residential area that led to a complaint to the Police who stated “you can’t park that here”. The ever-resourceful Phil promised to sort it out and snuck the bull into nearby Cornwall Park, with no one any the wiser.

Both Rod and Phil are committed Christians and have worked together on many projects including Vanuatu.

Phil recapped on his association with Tractor Treks which started back in February 2018. (For a recap on Phil’s background please refer to Newsletter No.100 11 July 2022 – Ed)

This the Trek visited 22-schools in the Waikato district and had a good amount of publicity aided by David Hume who has a Journalistic background and had Cat appear on a Morning radio show.

While tractors were the main point of interest even to rural kids Phil’s Humee also attracted attention where on one occasion 32-kids managed to jam themselves in. Along the way they stopped and spoke at Rotary Clubs and took every opportunity to promote the cause (Childrens Mental Health and Wellbeing) and promote the Rotary organisation.

Every tractor had a Rotary sign on the front with the drivers wearing the familiar bright green hi-vis Feelings for Life jackets.

The weather was bad at times but didn’t deter the Deputy Mayor of Cambridge turning up along with drenched kids who still enjoyed the day.

Rod said, Cat drove her tractor in the morning and he it in the afternoon. Along the way they met a man who said his son committed suicide at 45-yrs just showing that mental health can happen at any age.

Rod emphasised Members need to get behind Cat and continue to support her as much as we can.


Cat wanted to share the 3-important stats relating to Child mental wellbeing in NZ and each of which has personally impacted Cat personally.

  1. 1-in-4 children will experience mental health issues before they’re 18-yrs
  2. 50% of mental health issues start at the age of 12-yrs
  3. 15 young people are hospitalised with self-harm every day in NZ


Cat has already trained 250-teachers and spoken to over 5,500-children this year already and will shortly be visiting 16-schools in Northland in March & April this year as part of The Rotary Foundation sponsored Te Tai Tokerau Tamariki Mental Wellbeing Project (launched this week on 3rd March 2023 at the Mania View School, Whangārei).

Part of the planning of the Waikato Tractor Trek involved the local Rotary Clubs contacting their local schools and booking a time for Cat to visit them.


Cat is having an impact on schools who are now including Cat’s course material alongside the Ministry of Education Positive Behaviour for Learning scheme (PB4L). Find out more about PB4L here:


Next year’s Tractor Trek planning is already underway which will be in Papamoa, Western Bay of Plenty.


Gary thanked Phil, Cat and Rod and commented on how many things Phil has achieved in his 76-yrs and more recent years.