Local students win 2022 scholarships to Outward Bound
The Acorn Foundation hosted the 2022 Outward Bound Scholarship celebration held on June 22 at The Kollective in Tauranga.
These scholarships are awarded annually to Year 12 students from Western Bay of Plenty schools, plus Whakatane High School, to attend the Tangaroa Watch programme at Anakiwa on the South Island.
At the event, two student speakers, Jai Crowe of Tauranga Boys' College and Tori Haggie of Pāpāmoa College, shared their experiences on behalf of the student cohort.
Students are nominated by their schools and selected by Outward Bound staff members based on their commitment to their school and the community, with demonstrated financial need and an opportunity to improve their self-confidence.
This is the sixth year that Acorn donors and other local supporters have provided these scholarships to the three-week programme that uses outdoor adventures and physical activities to build resilience, perseverance and communication skills, which deliver life-long benefits.
The winners included Tauranga Boys' College students Leonardo Wilson-Taylor, Jake Corney and Jai Crowe, and Tauranga Girls' College students Rosa Atkins and Danica Fisher.
Otūmoetai College students Zachaia Tarawa, Eli Kapi and Dakota Filer, Pāpāmoa College students Aiswarya Bhandari and Tori Haggie, Katikati College students Ashton Coxhead and Eva Sunderland, and Whakatane High School students Callum Giles and Kiera Dooley were also announced as winners.
Call for entries in Tompkins Wake 2022 Rotorua Business Awards
Entries are open for the highlight of the Rotorua business calendar, the Tompkins Wake Rotorua Business Awards.
The high-profile business awards celebrate innovation and creativity in the business sector and have been a highlight of Rotorua's business calendar for well over 20 years.
As well as offering recognition for an organisation, the awards provide the opportunity to benchmark and gain expert advice on how businesses can continue to prosper.
Last year's award winner Joe Dorset from Ka Pai Kai Rotorua Charitable Trust said entering the awards was a valuable experience for his business.
"It gave us really good publicity and created a buzz around our Kaupapa. Winning the People's Choice Award exposed our business to more people who want to help us achieve our business outcomes. I would recommend any businesses thinking about entering to take the plunge."
Hampered by Covid19 restrictions in 2021, the awards evening last year was a virtual event, Bryce Heard, chief executive of the Rotorua Business Chamber.
"We ran a small gathering at our 'control' centre at the Energy Events Centre and announced each category with as much fanfare as we could muster, live streaming to a large audience.
"We pre-delivered party packs of food and drink to all sponsors and finalists at their respective party venues, and all staff engaged in a live drive-around-town to the winners' parties as they were announced on live stream. It was a lot of fun and a big learning experience."
The 2022 awards promise to be a much grander in-person evening of entertainment and celebration planned for November 5.
Any local business can enter the awards in one of the 14 award categories, with entries closing on July 8.
Entries completed before July 1 go in the draw to win a $300 Air NZ travel voucher.
To enter, visit www.rotoruabusinessawards.co.nz
TECT Park adds to long list of awards
Giant adventure playground, TECT Park, has been recognised as an exemplary action park in Aotearoa.
TECT Park won the Active Park/Sports Ground category at the Green Pavlova Awards dinner, hosted by Recreation Aotearoa in Ōtepoti/Dunedin.
The award specifically recognises adventure-style parks that do not need a lot of infrastructure but have created an outstanding environment.
The 1650ha park, between Tauranga and Rotorua, provides free access to an off-leash dog exercise area, tracks for walking, mountain biking, equestrian, off-road motorbikes, and pay-as-you-go camping facilities.
It is also home to a number of club facilities for shooting, motorsports, model aircraft flying and the tourist attraction Adrenalin Forest.
TECT Park operations manager Bill Wheeler was quick to acknowledge how many people are involved in making the park a success.
"This award recognises the huge effort put into the park by the user groups and the hard-working team of rangers who are always seeking ways to make the area a fantastic experience for our whole community. He waka eke noa – one waka, many paddlers."
Western Bay mayor Garry Webber said the park was well-loved and its layout, including its division into zones, ensures it caters to the needs of different users and their activities.
"We are proud of the way the park can provide so much to so many user groups, and we are excited about what the next decade has in store for this space."
Tauranga City Council commission chair Anne Tolley said TECT Park had become an icon of outdoor recreation in the Western Bay and it was great to see that recognised through another prestigious national award.
The awards ceremony also acknowledged Vanessa Davis, Landscape Architect at Western Bay of Plenty District Council for achieving Accredited Recreation Professional (ARPro).
A no 'BS' economic update
Workforce Relationship Management platform, Provide, is hosting a "No BS Economic Update" this month with keynote speaker Cameron Bagrie.
The event will be held at Papamoa Surf Lifesaving Club on July 6 from 7am to 9am.
Provide is a workforce relationship management (WRM) platform designed to connect workers with employers on terms that work for everyone.
Business owners are invited to attend the first of a series of events that highlight key economic issues in the region.
This month's series focuses on a No B.S. Economic Update by straight shooter Cameron Bagrie.
Bagrie has been an economist for 20 years and was the chief executive at ANZ Bank for more than 11 years. He has also worked as an economist at the National Bank, Treasury and Statistics New Zealand.
The event also aims to raise funds for the Wish4Fish charity - which provides individuals with a physical or mental disability, illness or financial hardship, access and the opportunity to enjoy the freedom and pleasure of the ocean.
Owners of unproductive land encouraged to grow 'black diamonds'
A Bay of Plenty truffle company, which sells fresh truffles to some of New Zealand's top chefs and restaurants, aims to export overseas in the near future.
Ohiwa Black Diamond Truffles is receiving more than $155,000 of government funding over three years to share its knowledge with interested growers so New Zealand can grow enough truffles for a robust export industry.
The business is also researching and developing new truffle products that incorporate the health benefits of truffles with traditional Māori rongoā (healing).
The business is run by Ohiwa-based couple Matui Hudson and Annette Munday. Since partnering with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) through the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund last year, they have held three workshops on truffle growing, with more lined up over the coming weeks.
"We have already received orders for around 10,000 inoculated truffle seedlings from several hapū, and we've helped a Kawhia whānau set up their truffiere," Munday said.
"We would like to see Māori land trusts and farmers around New Zealand growing truffles on unproductive land. It is an opportunity to make money out of land with poor soil, and could offer a side-line income for farmers if they planted seedlings beside trees used for riparian planting, for example."
Truffles can fetch between $2500 and $3500 per kilogram, and set-up costs per hectare for growing truffles range between $35,000 and $70,000.
Munday said each tree was capable of yielding 200 grams to one kilogram in well-managed plantations.
"The truffles on our Ohiwa plantation are grown beside oak and hazelnut trees, but pinus pinea trees are also suitable. To grow effectively, truffles need soil with a high level of acidity.
"We have been trialling growing spores under New Zealand natives but have found their root system doesn't support truffle growth – although we are still experimenting."
Steve Penno, director of investment programmes at MPI, said expanding the truffle industry in New Zealand could create new jobs for Kiwis.
"This is a great match for the Government and sector's Fit for a Better World road map, which aims to boost sustainability, productivity and jobs over 10 years.
"The truffle industry has significant export potential as New Zealand businesses are currently unable to keep up with overseas demand.
"Growers could potentially earn significant sales revenue from the eventual harvest of truffles on often marginally productive land."
Truffle hunting season starts this month, using trained dogs to sniff out the truffles. Members of the public are invited to join in the fun at one of Ohiwa Black Diamonds Truffles' public hunts.