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


Countdown begins to extreme Police raft race

Countdown begins to extreme Police raft race

Expect double the enthusiasm at the annual New Zealand Police Association Raft Race in Rotorua on Friday (1 March) as competitors make up for the cancellation of last year's event caused by adverse weather.

Police staff from across the North Island will descend on the Kaituna River marking the 6th anniversary of the extreme sporting event. Its popularity continues to grow and this year has attracted 37 teams of four making it one of the largest police sporting events.

Even the chairman of the New Zealand Police Association, Greg O'Connor is taking the plunge for the first time this year.

As well as the regular whitewater rafting, whitewater kayaking and riversurfing categories it will be the inauguration of the Banshee Bungee Boarding.

The races are being held on a 1.2 kilometre stretch of the Kaituna River which includes seven sets of Grade Three rapids with names like The Abyss and Boiling Pot. Competitors will also need to navigate three waterfalls – one of which is the world's highest commercially rafted waterfall just to reach the start line.

Event organiser, Constable Aaron Holloway from Bay of Plenty District Headquarters, describes the event as "socially competitive and a great team-spirited event".

"It began life as nine teams and has now become a highly contested event. We are lucky to have the Kaituna River on our doorstep in a spectacularly scenic part of the country. It is a perfect location."

Competitive contact between the rafts is encouraged but there is to be no "grabbing" of other rafts. Teams enter the Kaituna River at Okere Falls, and raft to the official start line below the Tutea Falls. One member from each team stands on a metre high rock, jumping into the river and swimming to the raft to officially start the race.

Six whitewater rafting heats will be followed by two semi finals and the finals are expected to take place between 5pm and 6pm; a new format for this year.

There will be five heats of riversurfing with first and second placed going into the final. Riversurfing is when you navigate down the Grade 3 section of river with the aid of flippers and a riversurfing board. This event provides a very different experience to rafting as you are in the water and at the mercy of the rapids.

The banshee bungee event will take place at lunchtime with competitors getting the chance to experience what it is like to travel across the water at 50km per hour. The bungee is 7m long but will be stretched out to 40 meters and then released pulling the competitor across the water on a board and points will be award for best tricks (and crashes).

For those who prefer to stay on terra firma there is a Department of Conservation walking track running adjacent to the Kaituna River which provides excellent vantage points for supporters and members of the public.

Every year the New Zealand Police Raft Race tries to support a fellow officer who may need financial support to cover medical costs. This year donations made by competitors will go to support an officer in Hamilton who needs to go to Germany for specialist treatment.

During the event there will be regular updates posted on the events Facebook ( and Twitter account ( Postings will include winners of the heats as well as photos and video from the event.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news