Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Images: Lions Get Steamed Up In Rotorua

News Release For Immediate Release
May 29, 2005

Lions Get Steamed Up In Rotorua

Click for big version

Lions captain Brian O'Driscoll accepting his gift from Te Puia's longest serving staff member Ramona Thompson.

After being officially welcomed to New Zealand in Rotorua this afternoon, the British and Irish Lions finished the day with a visit to Te Puia, New Zealand's leading cultural tourism attraction.

The visit was a chance for the Lions to sign autographs for fans, meet Rotorua locals, mingle with the media and exchange gifts with Te Puia staff.

Te Puia chief executive Andrew Te Whaiti says visiting Te Puia allowed the players a glimpse of Rotorua's famous Whakarewarewa Valley. Many of the touring party said they will return for a more extensive tour during their stay in New Zealand.

"We wanted to send the Lions away from Rotorua feeling relaxed and welcomed. It was a chance for the boys to stretch their legs after their official welcome at Ohinemutu Marae."

The Lions touring party were each gifted a small koauau (flute) specially carved by Te Puia's master carvers.

Special gifts were also given to Lions coach Sir Clive Woodward, tour manager Bill Beaumont, captain Brian O'Driscoll and front rower Steve Thompson.

Woodward received a tewhatawha, a two-handed axe-like weapon, traditionally used by chiefs to signal the warriors into position for battle.

Click for big version

Lions gathered in Te Puia's meeting house.

Beaumont's gift was a taiaha made of totara, O'Driscoll received a kotiate (short weapon) and Thompson was presented with a parata (carved figure head).

In return, the Lions presented Te Puia with a framed tour jersey signed by the whole team.

Te Whaiti first approached the New Zealand Rugby Union several months ago asking how Te Puia could support the Lions visit to Rotorua.

"It is good for Rotorua to get as much mileage out of the Lions tour as possible. It's estimated the economic benefit to Rotorua could be in excess of $8 million – as a local business we certainly wanted to get behind that and at the same time promote our city to the rest of the world."

Te Whaiti's interest in the rugby tour also stems from his days playing the game.

"I spent a season with London Askean and played a lot of rugby against the clubs which some of the Lions players play for – such as Leicester and the London Harlequins. I'm really looking forward to meeting some of the newest rugby stars to emerge from those clubs."

Te Whaiti also spent three years playing NPC rugby for Waikato, so will be particularly interested in the Lions' provincial games.

Te Puia was chosen as the most appropriate visitor attraction for the Lions to visit because it offers a variety of tourist experiences.

"The Lions received a powhiri at Auckland airport on arrival and had just been welcomed officially at Ohinemutu during the afternoon. Although Te Puia has a great Maori cultural programme, we knew the Lions had been shown a good sample of culture during the day so we focused on showing them our geothermal valley and carving and weaving skills."

Te Puia was rebranded only two months ago to better reflect the visitor experiences on offer. The attractions fall under three sub-brands: Maori culture, the geothermal valley and the New Zealand Maori Arts And Crafts Institute.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Reuben Moss' Property is Theft! & Kaitani at The Physics Room

Property is Theft! continues Moss’ interest in the contemporary urban environment as a space controlled by pulsing and unequal flows of capital and labour. Kaitani features work by the University of Canterbury Fijian Students Association and Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka. More>>

Handcrafted Form: Rare Treasures From Japan

This unique exhibition at Expressions Whirinaki represents 90 everyday objects made by contemporary Japanese artisans who employ various traditional craft techniques made in regional workshops. The works used in daily life are crafted from raw materials with techniques appropriate to bringing out the best of its medium, balancing ease of use with aesthetic appeal. More>>

Howard Davis Article: A Musical Axis - Brahms, Wagner, Sibelius

Brahms' warm and exquisitely subtle Symphony No. 3 in F major, Wagner's irrepressibly sentimental symphonic poem Siegfried Idyll, and Sibelius' chilling and immensely challenging Violin Concerto in D minor exemplify distinct stages of development in a tangled and convoluted series of skirmishes that came to define subsequent disputes about the nature of post-Romantic orchestral writing well into the following century. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: A Pale Ghost Writer

Reviewed by Ruth Brassington, Richard Flanagan's new novel is about a novelist hastily ghost-writing the biography of a crook about to go to trial. The reader is kept on a cliff-edge, as the narrator tries to get blood out of his stone man. More>>

New Zealand Wars Commemoration: Witi Ihimaera's Sleeps Standing Moetū

The second of several articles to mark Rā Maumahara, remembering the New Zealand Land Wars. The first was a Q&A with Vincent O’Malley, author of The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800–2000. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland