Employment Matters

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March 1999, Volume 10, Number 3

'Most Beautiful Place in the World' Sees the Light

Creating employment opportunities is the name of the game on the East Coast as locals work together to create a millennium festival on the "most beautiful site in the world."

"It is about assisting and nurturing people's dreams into reality as a marketable product," says Community Employment Group adviser Ripeka Winitana.

Ripeka has been working with Te Kowhai Charitable Trust -- an organisation set up to run a three-day millennium festival.

The project began when local land owners Barney and Parekowhai Whaitiri were approached by a major tour ship company to run a festival.

The Whaitiri's land, near Gisborne, is beside the sea with the white cliffs of Te Kuri (Young Nick's Head) as the backdrop. "This is the most beautiful site in the world to see the sun come up," says Barney.

Initially the couple were reluctant, but agreed to think about the proposal.

They soon realised the idea had the potential to create employment and income for the surrounding community and marae.

Two years of work have now gone into developing the festival.
A Wellington production company has been hired to organise the event and 20 local marae have been working closely to develop local opportunities such as marae accommodation and hangi food.

A percentage of profits from the event will go to local marae and to a Polynesian Cultural Centre planned for Gisborne.

"This is not only an opportunity to create employment for local Maori and Pakeha but also an opportunity for groups to make some much-needed revenue."

Parekowhai is organising stalls for craftspeople and artists, sculptors and potters.

Barney is grateful for the advice and support offered by Ripeka. "She helped us set up the legal structures. We really had no idea of how to go about it."

Kaumatua from three local iwi chair the charitable trust and will ensure revenue generated is distributed equitably.

Participants on training courses and local people will be used to work on the site, building fencing and landscaping.

"There will be a big cultural aspect to the event," says Barney.
The opening ceremony will include the arrival of 15 waka taua (ocean-going waka) from throughout New Zealand and a powhiri from tangata whenua.

Interest in attending has already come from an international group called Planet Earth Peace Day.

The group aims to encourage people worldwide to stand for one minute in silence in a bid to encourage world peace at the dawn of the new millennium.

Ripeka says the event will bring together expertise from throughout the community.

It will be professionally co-ordinated and very family orientated, offering culture, art and music. "Everything will be centred around the beach.

"People will have a chance to see that they can market their natural resources. They can be the guardians, owners and controllers of their own destiny."

And the Whaitiri family hopes the event may be the beginning of an annual festival centred in the area.

Other stories about Rural Tourism:
Vanished World Brought to Life! - Vanished World - Fossils on a Whitestone Trail (July 2001)
Power to the People - Explore Waitaki Valley (August 2001)
Artistic Inspiration - Ngongotaha Artists Charitable Trust Art Gallery (October 2001)
The Long Pathway - Te Araroa Trust (May 2001)
Back on Track - Kawakawa On Track (February 2001)
A Greener South - South Coast Environment Centre (February 2001)
Projecting Hope in the Far North - Oruru Arts Charitable Trust (March 2001)
Mobile Promotion - Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust (January 2002)
Hidden Treasure - Maniototo Rural Art Deco (January 2001)
Discovering Northland - Twin Coast Discovery Highway, Destination Northland (October 2000)
Marae Murals Move Mountains - Ururangi Marae Trust (September 2000)
Getting In On The Action - Twizel Resource Centre (September 2000)
Arts go from Strength to Strength - Nelson Bays Arts Marketing Newtork (August 2000)
Community Spirit on Nature's Edge - The Hump Ridge Track Charitable Trust (July 2000)
Encouraging Tourists to Stay - Westland District Council (July 2000)
Sign of the Times in Akaroa - Akaroa District Promotions Inc (July 2000)
Luring Tourists to Stay Longer - Strath Taieri Agriculture and Tourism Trust (June 2000)
Self-Sufficiency Goal for Marae - Hora-hora Marae (June 2000)
Website Takes on Life of its Own - Waikato District Enterprise Agency (May 2000)
Community Dream Steaming Ahead - Whanganui River Boat Restoration and Navigation Trust (March 2000)
Hopes Riding on New Bus Service - Hinepukohurangi Trust (December 1999)
Phoenix of the South - Rural Art Deco Maniatoto (December 1999)
Retaining a Lifestyle - South Catlins Promotions (February 2002)
Trolls Flourish - Norsewood Promotions Inc (November 1999)
Communities Take Control - Cheviot Promotions Group (October 1999)
Fun Ho at Inglewood Thanks to Community Enterprise - Fun Ho National Toy Museum (June 1999)
Tremendous Economic Injection - Gold Country Music Club (April 1999)
Trolling Around - Mike Stone (March 1999)
Hungry for More - Ashburton Tourism Development Board (March 1999)
Activities Panning Out - Project Ross (July 2002)
Tuatapere On Track - Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track (July 2002)
Sustainable Tourism - Clare Wimmer (February 2003)
Building Role Awareness - Enterprise Northland (July 2004)
Steep Hill Yields Asset - Friends of the Fell Society (June 2004)
Taking Action - South Catlins Development and Environmental Charitable Trust (July 2004)
Pioneering Collaboration - Lawrence Heritage and Opportunities Working Party (July 2004)
Taking the High Road - Selwyn District Council (August 2004)
Treasured Experiences - Eastender Farmstay (August 2004)
'Telling Our Story' - Riverton Heritage and Tourist Centre Trust (August 2004)
Other stories about Festivals:
Pacific Showcase - Pacific Underground (February 2001)
Celebrating Its Past - Celebration Lyttelton Trust (October 2000)
Mini Festival Brings Samoan Community Together - Ministers' Fraternal Group (June 2000)
Fantastic Week for Rural Women - Positively Clutha Women (June 2000)
Entries Sought - Wastebusters Trust Canterbury (May 2000)
Floral Attraction - Fefine Fekumi (April 2000)
A 'Brilliant' Performance - Aotearoa Traditional Maori Performing Arts Festival (March 2000)
A Blooming Good Time - Inglewood Crossroads Promotions (March 2000)
Picton Fizzing - Picton Urban Design (January 2000)
Cavalcade Rolls into Middlemarch Community - Middlemarch Community (March 2002)
Festival Keeps Getting Better - Pasifika (March 2002)
Celebrating Diversity - Enterprise Otara (October 1999)
Festivities Bring Tokelau Community Together - CEG (April 2002)
Teamwork Wins Over - Hurunui Lakes Promotion Group (May 2002)
Street's Ahead - Cuba Street Carnival Collective Trust (July 2002)
Festival Booms - Pasifika (March 2003)
Festival Raises the Profile of Lawrence - Lawrence Summer Arts Festival (March 2003)
Entertainment and Colour - Cuba Street Carnival Trust (January 2004)
Providing Opportunities - Pasifika (July 2004)
Bold, Outrageous, Wild - Central South Island Tourism (December 2004)
Barney Whaitiri, P O Box 176
Manutuke, Gisborne
Phone (06) 862 8028, Fax (06) 862 8038

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