Visitors to Rotorua for this months UCI World Mountain Biking Championships will experience a new Maori tourism initiative. Renee Nathan, Business Development Manager, says an interactive village is being created at the base of Skyline Skyrides for the duration of the mountain biking champs.
There are going to be many people coming to Rotorua from all over New Zealand and overseas, and we hope to welcome people and give them the opportunity to learn more about our Maori culture, she said.
Visitors can take part in many activities such as weaving and poi making; tasting indigenous food and interacting with some of Te Arawas best tattooists, learning more about this art form, as well as taking a specially designed Ta Moko to commemorate their time in Rotorua, New Zealand.
They will also be able to view some great performances, traditional and contemporary art works by local artists and take part in a Maori massage.
Most of the artworks will be by Maori artists but there will also be others whose works may reflect the local area such as the Rotorua landscape.
Renee Nathan says June Grant and artists from the Mad House Gallery and Mokoia Creative are just some of the names that will be on display.
She says over 150 people will be involved with more than 35 businesses getting behind Te Mauri Arts Village.
Its a collective approach and everyone is very excited to be part of a huge international event for our city.
The hosting of the world mountain biking champs means we have the advantage of having lots of out of town and international visitors to the city. This is a great opportunity to expose the diversity of various cultural aspects and for many artists to profile themselves and their works.
The champs will also create good media exposure and this is a chance to promote the leisure perspective outside of the race filming, she says.
We want to ensure that when people leave that they go away from Rotorua thinking the mountain biking was fantastic as was the hospitality. We want them to recommend Rotorua to others as a great place to come and visit.
We also hope locals will come down and check out whats happening too.
The management committee of Maori in Tourism Rotorua are being supported in the initiative by funding from the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust. Students from Katikati to Taupo attended this months 30th NIWA Bay of Plenty Regional Science Fair held at Rotoruas Convention Centre in Fenton Street in the city.
Mark Franken, chairman of the organising committee, says there were 163 entries from 22 schools from students aged from 11 to 17.
The students could enter their exhibits in three different classes: science, technology, and art in science, in two-year age groups: intermediate, junior secondary and senior secondary.
He says the standard of the entries seems to stay fairly high from year to year although in recent years there has been a disappointing lack of senior entries.
It seems that many senior students dont realise they can cross-credit their entries for NCEA credits sometimes across a number of subjects.
The judges nominated one entry to go forward to the national science fair, Realise the Dream, being held in Wellington from 10 - 15 December.
The science fair is organised by the Kiwanis Club of Roto Whenua and members of the Royal Society, Rotorua branch.
In 2001, the New Zealand South Pacific District of Kiwanis long term effort in organising science fairs around the country was recognised by the presentation of the Rutherford Medal by the Royal Society an honour normally bestowed on scientists.
In the past the fair venue has moved around the Bay of Plenty, but is now held permanently in Rotorua due to its central location.
Around 380 year nine and 10 students from throughout the Bay of Plenty will come together for the Maths Mind competition on August 23.
The problem-solving competition will see the students competing in teams of four. This will entail them running to a marker to receive a question and having to attempt answers to all the mathematical questions.
Jo Sturme, Bay of Plenty Maths Association (BOPMA) Rotorua cluster Maths Mind organiser, says the association aims to promote and support maths learning in schools through events such as the Maths Mind competition. Page 3
She says about 25 secondary schools from Rotorua, Tauranga and Whakatane will take part in the competition, which this year will be held at Western Heights High School. Jo says while there are similar competitions held in other cluster areas, BOPMA is encouraging NZAMT to organise a national competition that regional winners can go through to.
The Bay of Plenty association holds committee meetings each term, which Jo says is an opportunity for maths teachers to talk maths.
For example at our next meeting we will discuss the new draft curriculum document and form some comments.
In December, BOPMA is organising a mini-conference for professional development for teachers of mathematics, again in Rotorua.