Entrada Travel Group, the New Zealand owners of Fullers GreatSights, has sold the Fullers GreatSights brand and tourism assets to local tourism company, Explore Group. The sale is expected to become unconditional within the next few weeks.
The sale does not include the Paihia passenger service and car ferry services in Okiato-Opua and Hokianga which will remain part of the wider passenger transport network of Entrada Travel Group. It will be rebranded Northland Ferries.
All ferry schedules will continue to operate as normal and all existing concession cards will continue to be valid and honoured.
Soon to be launched is a new Northland Ferries website and branding will be updated on signage, staff uniforms and tickets.
As part of the sale process, Explore Group will assume the rights to use the name Fullers GreatSights within the Bay of Islands region.
The Entrada Travel Group is a tourism and travel operator in New Zealand and Queensland. It has a history dating back more than 100 years with New Zealand brands such as InterCity, Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari and sightseeing brands GreatSights, awesomeNZ, Explore Bus and Gray Line.
The Explore Group started with one America's Cup yacht based in Auckland in 2001 and has grown. They are New Zealand-owned and operate in Auckland and Bay of Islands, and in Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach in Australia.
Go Green Awards celebrated
The Far North Go Green Awards, initiated by the Resilient Russell Charitable Trust, were held at The Duke of Marlborough Hotel last Friday night.
A full house saw the Funky Eco Fashion Show and the awards for Outstanding Citizen, Outstanding Organisation and the Go Green Good Idea Award. The Supreme Award was determined by three judges from all categories.
Winner of the Go Green Good Idea Award, and the Supreme Award, went to Vicky Smith from Orongo Bay Holiday Park and Cabins. She has introduced composting to the campground, which she uses for the camp's vegetable garden. She has also introduced recycling and free range chickens whose eggs she sells to campers.
Outstanding Citizen Award went to Jane Banfield of Paihia. She bills herself as the "Zero Waste Granny" and runs Zero Waste for the Bay of Islands. She has been known to wear a rubber fish on her head on certain occasions.
Outstanding Organisation Award went to Russell Landcare Trust, a voluntary organisation that has all but eradicated rats and stoats from the wetlands and forest area from Pipiroa Bay through to Russell.
The Funky Eco Fashion Award, which had eight adult entries and three children, went to Catrina Suter for her creation "Rhapsody in Wheat". It was a cape was made from wheat on felted wool, old fabrics and muka (flax). It is totally compostable and (mostly) edible.
Catrina says her entry was still growing at the time of showing and it was a "big job" to save it from being eaten by the birds.
Maromākū sports courts upgrade
The Maromākū community opened its (almost new) AstroTurf tennis and netball courts last Friday 25 June.
The $260,000 upgrade to the popular Maromākū Domain was completed in 2019, but an official opening of the project was overtaken by the Covid-19 lockdown and has only now been confirmed.
Project manager Dominique Thelemaque was overseer for the project The upgrade which included survey work, earthworks, drainage, new fencing, artificial turf and new tennis nets and netball goals. Project costs were reduced after the community rallied to remove fencing and undertake site works.
Bay of Islands Matariki Festival and events
Matariki, the Māori New Year, which is set to become a public holiday next year, is heralded by the rising of the star cluster Matariki in late June or early July.
The Māori star cluster Matariki has nine stars. In the West it's known as Pleiades or the Seven Sisters (with seven stars) or Messier 45. In Japan it's known as Subaru and is generally considered to have five stars. It's a bright open star cluster located in the constellation of Taurus, the Bull.
The way Matariki is celebrated varies from iwi to iwi but it is traditionally a time to gather together, celebrate, reflect and plan for the future.
The stars of Matariki and their meaning
• Matariki – Reflection / hope / connection to environment / gathering together / health and well being
• Waiti – Fresh water and fresh food
• Waita – Sea water and sea water food
• Waipuna a rangi – Rainfall
• Tupuanuku – Everything that grows in soil that can be gathered or harvested for food
• Tupuārangi – Associated with everything that grows up in the trees: fruits, berries and birds
• Ururangi – Winds
• Pohutukawa – Remembering those who have passed on
• Hiwa I te rangi – Granting our wishes and realising our aspirations for the coming year.
The Bay of Islands Matariki Festival will run from July 2-11 with free and ticketed events. Attractions range from astrophotography workshops and a Māori cuisine night to live music and a manu contest off Russell wharf.
• July 2-4 Matariki weekend at Orongo Bay Holiday Park, Russell.
• July 6 - Winter Cup Pool Competition, Sandpit Bar, Paihia, 7pm
• July 7 - Astrophotography Workshop, Plough and Feather, Kerikeri, 6.30pm
• July 9 – Manu Masters, Russell Wharf, 10.30am – 1pm
• July 9 – White Chapel Jak, Nauti Penguin, Russell, 7pm
• July 10 - Four-course culinary experience at Russell's Duke of Marlborough prepared by Māori master chefs including ''Hangi Master'' Rewi Spraggon, Grant Kitchen, Tu Fearn and Tama Salive, with matching Māori-made wines and Tammy Davis as MC. 5.30pm.
• All of July - Children visiting Kemp House and the Stone Store will have the opportunity to colour and decorate their favourite Matariki star, which will then be displayed under the eaves of the Honey House Café and the Kemp House veranda.
Young visitors will be given a pumpkin seed planted in a pulp paper container with some potting mix to take home and plant.
Visit matarikinz.com for more information.
Waitangi to help with new history curriculum
Waitangi Treaty Grounds has won a Ministry of Education contract to develop classroom support materials to aid schools with the delivery of the new New Zealand Histories curriculum that will be rolled out from February 2022.
The Education Project Team at Waitangi is developing Inquiry Units for years 1 to 10, covering the full breadth of the curriculum. The content developers aim to provide resources that can be used by teachers across the country.
Alongside the development of the classroom support materials, Waitangi is offering workshops about Te Tiriti o Waitangi and New Zealand's histories, enabling teachers to learn about the new curriculum at the Treaty Grounds.
The workshops include a Pōwhiri at Te Whare Rūnanga and private guided tours of the Treaty Grounds and Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi.
• Email Sandy Myhre at email@example.com if you have any news you'd like to see in Bay News.