Over 1100 national and international tourism delegates were treated to a spectacular evening of culture, cuisine and entertainment recently as Te Puia played host to the 2015 TRENZ welcome function.
As New Zealand’s premium international trade event, TRENZ provides the opportunity for tourism operators from around New Zealand to meet with international tourism buyers and media, and attracted record numbers to Rotorua this year.
Selected as hosts as much for our world-wide reputation for manaakitanga (hosting) as our quality function facilities, Te Puia set the stage in the Geothermal Valley where our Te Arawa people have been guiding for 170 years.
Te Puia conference, functions and events manager, Nick Dallimore, says months of behind the scenes preparation came together for a breath-taking action-packed evening that some have called the best TRENZ welcome for more than 15 years.
“From being wowed by Western Heights High School Kapa Haka Group, to watching videos of the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute’s projects from around the world, experiencing the Carving and Weaving schools in action, to a massive Pōwhiri from Tangata Whenua. All followed by delicious food and drinks and entertainment from stilt walkers and New Zealand’s Modern Maori Quartet.
“Everyone has been raving about the event during the TRENZ exhibition,” he says.
Guests didn’t miss a moment with large digital screens placed for a close up view of the pōwhiri – particularly during the powerful Wero (challenge) lead by Wetini Mitai.
“There is nothing like hosting people in your own home and bringing them to your place to experience manaakitanga first hand,” says Mr Dallimore.
“The evening had an emotional impact on guests that could never be achieved with just a brochure, and these guests are the ones responsible for bringing visitors into New Zealand.
“It’s just fantastic and will position both Te Puia | NZMACI and Rotorua well for continued visitor development.”
Te Puia | NZMACI are responsible for protecting and perpetuating Māori culture, traditions, arts and crafts under legislation established in 1963, and as cultural ambassadors, the welcome function was a celebration of the collective on behalf of Tuhourangi, Ngati Wahiao, Ngati Whakaue, Ngati Pikiao and Te Arawa Nui Tonu.
A collaboration of chefs from seven tourism industry hotels and the Poutama Trust came together with our executive chef to create an outstanding menu of traditional and contemporary cuisine.
Mr Dallimore says Te Puia are pleased with what they achieved and are excited to see what the future brings through Te Puia’s gates.