Exploding pumpkins, hip-hop dancers, music and free food were the vital ingredients making NorthTec's first ever Community Day a huge success.

Around 2000 people turned up to enjoy the family day out at NorthTec's Raumanga campus on Sunday, as crowds enjoyed all the free activities on a hot, sunny day, while also finding out about study programmes on offer at Northland's largest tertiary provider.

Families queued patiently for free candy floss and a sausage sizzle, and snapped up the free vegetable seedlings grown and donated by NorthTec's horticulture students.

NorthTec's international hospitality students served up curry and Indian snacks in the whare kai.


Younger visitors took full advantage of the bouncy castle, while the jenga and swingball games, colouring table and gumboot tossing were in demand all day.

Children were delighted with free rides courtesy of the miniature pony and trap, while NorthTec science tutor Toni Daly had as much fun as the young visitors to her stall, setting fire to pumpkins and finally causing one to explode in great style.

Ladies and little girls alike took the chance to have their nails painted by NorthTec's beauty therapy team, while others tested their fitness with the sports and recreation students.

Community groups including Radio Lollipop, the Cancer Society, Plunket and the Red Cross also went along to promote their services.

Musician Ben Ratima, from local band Soljah, provided a soulful sound, while the Junior Legion hip-hop crew, from Kawakawa, wowed the crowd with their performance. A display by the roller derby team, the Northland Nightmares, was also popular.

Event organiser Ellie Ball, NorthTec's marketing promotions coordinator, said: "It was fantastic to see so many people come along for our first ever Community Day. The weather was perfect and the atmosphere was wonderful.

"Our aim was to give something back to the local community, while also opening NorthTec to the public and giving people a chance to see all the different areas of study. We received a number of enquiries about enrolment for programmes in 2015, and everyone enjoyed themselves taking part in all the games and activities.

"We want Community Day to be an annual event which brings people to NorthTec for some family fun, while also making plans for their education."