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Celebrating Otaki Community Vision


04 October 2006

Celebrating Otaki Community Vision

Dancing to local Kapiti groups Rhythm Plant and 1st Nation will be one of several ways to celebrate the release of Greater Otaki Project’s Vision this Saturday (October7).

“The Greater Otaki Project began with an event including entertainment and the only appropriate way to release the outcome is with a bigger celebration,” Otaki Community Board chairman, André Baker, said today.

There will be music from the two groups as well as a merry-go-round and a bouncy castle. For the artistic there is the opportunity to contribute to a community graffiti canvas and Otaki College 7th Formers will be raising funds for their trip to Japan and feeding attendees with a barbecue.

“The Greater Otaki community responded with enthusiasm and commitment in helping to shape the vision for our future direction. This has involved community led consultation in the form of workshops focusing on Main Street, Cultural Tourism, Pathways for Youth/Rangatahi, planning and development for urban, rural, industrial and retail sectors and environmental protection.

“The result of those efforts is the formal Kapiti Coast: Choosing Futures – Local Outcome for Otaki and it will be the guiding document to build our future direction.

“We want residents to continue to be involved. They have helped create the vision; now we need everyone to work to turn it into a reality,” André said.

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The two musical groups both bring something different but uniquely Kapiti Coast to this event.

Rhythm Plan bring a fusion of reggae, country and dance music with groove, a bit of funk with its folk and some Celtic influences as well.

The six piece band has been together for three years and the members are: Phill Simmonds on lead vocals and Mandola; Richard Guerin on electric guitar; Julie Hanify on keyboards; Chris Straugheir on nylon string guitar and keyboards; Rachel Kiel-Taylor on drums; Leon Kiel on bass and everyone singing backing vocals.

The band supports community issues and has been involved in community campaigns e.g. the saving of Whareroa Farm from private development.

“Rhythm Plant’s music is about our community celebrating the landscape that we live in and we see playing at events in our community and other places as an opportunity for us to celebrate this with other people,” says lead singer Phill Simmonds.

RhythmPlant gigs tend to be interesting and colourful events and this one for the Otaki community looks like it will be something special. This will be the first concert where RhythmPlant will play some of their new summer show.

1st Nation was formed at the beginning of 2004 and have had many name changes. However, the name 1st Nation derives from the fact that it was the first time in 2005 that the group entered Smokefree Rockquest and Pacifica Beats. It also acknowledges that members of the group come from the indigenous peoples of the Pacific.

The group say they are happy and proud to be promoting their cultures and representing their families, schools and community of Otaki.

“Our music can be described as a mixture of funk-rock and R ‘n B, but not limited to those styles. There’s a lot of different styles that influence our music and there is a lot more experimenting to be done,” manager and organiser, Sandy Johnson says.

“We have a great family atmosphere within the group and even though our members now come from five different schools, it’s that family concept which nurtures and supports us and keeps us strong. The schools that we attend are Otaki College, Te Kura a Whakatupuranga Rua Mano, Te Wharekura a Te Rito, Hato Paora and Gisborne Girls High.

“We believe that as role-models for young people our job is to inspire others to reach for their dreams, believe in themselves and go for it. Our songs are about sending out positive and thought provoking messages to all.”

Ends

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