Television presenter Scotty Morrison was MC for the afternoon as Rotorua became New Zealand's first bilingual. Photo/Stephen Parker
Television presenter Scotty Morrison was MC for the afternoon as Rotorua became New Zealand's first bilingual. Photo/Stephen Parker

Rotorua became New Zealand's first bilingual city

On August 11 Rotorua officially became the first bilingual city in Aotearoa.

More than 50 people were welcomed into the Rotorua Lakes Council chamber to see the unveiling of the plaque which declared Rotorua bilingual.

Te Tatau o Te Arawa led the initiative with support from the council and Te Puni Kokiri.

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Earlier in the year councillors unanimously supported the idea of becoming a bilingual city and backed Te Tatau o Te Arawa taking charge of the project.

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More than 1000 children took part in the Primary School Maori Festival

The week-long festival, Te Ahurei o Nga Kura 2017, was in a new venue last year at Rotorua's Harvest Centre, with more than 1000 performers and their whanau along for the fun.

Pupils performed everything from kapa haka items, to plays and small dramatic sequences.

The festival has been on the Rotorua calendar for more than four decades.

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Federation of Maori Authorities chairwoman Traci Houpapa looks forward to working alongside the Government. Photo/Ben Fraser
Federation of Maori Authorities chairwoman Traci Houpapa looks forward to working alongside the Government. Photo/Ben Fraser

The Federation of Maori Authorities met in Rotorua for its 30-year anniversary

The three-day FOMA30 Economic Summit was held in November.

Speakers included Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Crown, Maori Relations Minister Kelvin Davis, Federation of Maori Authorities chairwoman Traci Houpapa and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker.

The Federation of Maori Authorities (FOMA) was established to foster and advance the economic interests of Maori authorities, with the idea to collectivise assets and interests to influence government policies and strategies.

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Rotorua Intermediate School on stage at Te Mana Kuratahi 2017. Photo/Supplied
Rotorua Intermediate School on stage at Te Mana Kuratahi 2017. Photo/Supplied

Five Rotorua schools competed at Te Mana Kuratahi

Five Rotorua schools made Te Arawa proud at Te Mana Kuratahi 2017 - The National Primary Kapa Haka Competition.

The schools, who qualified in the regional Te Arawa primary school kapa haka competition last year, spent the week competing against more than 50 schools from around the country.

Rotorua Intermediate placed seventh overall in the competition and the schools came away with 11 discipline awards combined.

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Maori culture took over the Santa Monica Pier with a breathtaking kapa haka performance. Photo/Supplied
Maori culture took over the Santa Monica Pier with a breathtaking kapa haka performance. Photo/Supplied

Maori culture took over the Santa Monica Pier

Maori culture took over the Santa Monica Pier with a breathtaking kapa haka performance.

The display, set against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean, was part of events surrounding Tuku Iho | Living Legacy, which opened at Venice Beach's Rose Room.

The exhibition was looking to replicate its runaway success in Washington DC, where more than 250,000 people visited and more than a million engaged with it on social media.

Developed by the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute (NZMACI), Tuku Iho | Living Legacy, fuses traditional and contemporary culture with more than 70 works of art handcrafted by students and teachers from NZMACI, based at Te Puia in Rotorua.

Tuku Iho | Living Legacy captured the attention of crowds, and highlighted the interest people had in discovering more about international cultures and their artistic practices.

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Two Te Arawa groups made the Te Matatini finals

Five Te Arawa teams were among the 47 teams vying for the top nine positions and two of them made the finals for Te Matatini 2017 in Hastings.

They were Te Matarae I Orehu and Tuhourangi/Ngati Wahiao.

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