DIstrict 112 update – March 23, 2020
District 112, since the New Zealand government has announced a COVID-19 Alert Level of Level-3 and an intended move to Level-4, asks that all clubs look at having an option for members to experience their club online and moving to holding meetings which are online only, for the foreseeable future.
The safety of members is paramount. Please keep up to date with the Ministry of Health guidelines and Government announcements.
Clubs need to consider that they may have members who are self-isolating or reducing their social contact. We recommend that clubs cancel their premises bookings where possible and use the saving to purchase an online Zoom account. There are other online tools such as Skype (allows 50 people to join), Google hangout (allows 25 people to join), Goto Meeting, etc.
The District is working to assist clubs with Zoom account access where the club has insufficient funds to procure an account. Area Directors will be managing this so if your club needs assistance in this area please talk to your Area Director.
Clubs have a unique opportunity to step-up, show leadership, and keep their clubs operational for the good of their members and also provide an opportunity for guests who may be self-isolating and lacking social contact.
Some guests may find it easier to join and become a member of Toastmasters through online meetings to build their confidence before, sometime in the future, walking into a meeting. Adding online experience and options to your club meetings will also allow people outside your area to be able to join your meeting. Please take this opportunity to look at how your club can expand itself to attract more members by providing an online option for them to attend.
Many people who are self-isolating will see this as a social opportunity and a chance to learn as well. Clubs need to be ready for the challenge.
Part of the preparation will be clubs updating their online media, including Facebook, Meetup, websites, Toastmasters International Page, to indicate that they are meeting online and invite guests to join them. Discuss the benefits that being a member of a Toastmasters club will bring.
For those that are not familiar with online meetings there is helpful material here.
Zoom itself has introduced new introductory tutorials at
Try the on-demand training sessions, and scroll down the above page for tips on working from home and setting up online meetings.
Update March 27: A video covering contests for those unable to make online contestant training is now available on YouTube
Want to try an online meeting experience? One-hour Table Topics sessions are being held every day at 1:00 pm and at 6:00 pm, to give members a taste of an online experience. The Zoom meeting ID for this is 4210599897 (these are being well attended and have been appreciated).
On Sunday 15 March our International President, Deepak Menon and CEO, Dan Rex, advised that due to the risks associated with the coronavirus, to protect our members, Area, Division and District Contests may only take place online. Consequently since, the District has been planning for online contests.
Division and District contest events henceforth will be conducted online with some Divisions holding two contests only.
Division Directors have decided their timing for postponed contests events, and these will be scheduled on the District Calendar here.
Note that there is no provision being made for these contests to be held at a possible future date, in person.
District 112 Conference (1 to 3 May 2020) which was going to be held in Napier is now cancelled. Instead, District meetings and any contests will be conducted online. FOCUS 2020 District Conference refunds will be processed during April. Refunds will be to the account from which the original payment was made.
Our thoughts are with everyone at this time, we wish you all personal health and wellness. We will endeavour to keep you updated as things change. Decisions around Division event dates will be posted on the District Calendar. Some Division Directors have provided contest updates on their Division Facebook page as well as the District calendar.
Neil Stichbury DTM
District Director – District 112
Where Leaders are Made
Text/Mobile: +64 2 7527 4913
Email: [email protected]