Rotorua is set to host the Taekwondo New Zealand Open on March 19/20 next year at the Energy Events Centre.

The announcement was made this weekend during the Taekwondo New Zealand National Championships in Auckland.

Rotorua's Han Lee Taekwondo Club coach and director Jason Lee said it was a massive result for the city.

The tournament will attract top-ranking athletes from all over the world as they join the best New Zealand athletes.


"We expect to greet more than 500 of the world's best and more than 1000 international visitors," Lee said.

"We are currently engaged in talks with some of the best clubs from Korea, Japan, China, Australia and the USA.

"The open is an exceptional learning opportunity for New Zealand athletes as they interact with different cultures and techniques.

"Hosting the open in Rotorua is a great way for international visitors to find out more about New Zealand's rich Maori culture as well as take in some of the tourist attractions, and the region's unique geothermal environment."

The open could see some good economic benefits for Rotorua, with plenty of people travelling to the city, but the wider benefits are much broader according to Lee.

"This translates to more Kiwi kids in sport, more Kiwis involved in sport and more Kiwi winners on the world stage."

Taekwondo is one of only two martial arts included in the Olympic Games (the other being judo), it teaches self-discipline with a focus on technique, fitness and meditation. The open is a sanctioned event by Taekwondo New Zealand and the World Taekwondo Federation.

Lee is currently seeking volunteers to help with the Taekwondo New Zealand Open.


During the Taekwondo New Zealand National Championships at Avondale College in Auckland this weekend, students from Lee's club in Rotorua won three silvers in their respective categories.