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Youth to help CBD Revitalisation

Waiariki Institute of Technology
Mokoia Drive
Rotorua, New Zealand
0800 924 274

22 January 2013

Youth to help CBD Revitalisation

A design competition for Rotorua secondary school technology students could make things a whole lot more comfortable around the city’s business district.

Waiariki Institute of Technology and Rotorua District Council have partnered with other local suppliers to create the Woodfirst Product Design, a new competition that aims to generate innovative seating designs from sustainable materials with wood being predominant, for the Rotorua CBD.

Senior students and youth aged 15-18 years are encouraged to create a sketch and/or model of their wooden design which will then be judged. The winning entry will be linked up with a professional designer and manufacturer before the innovative seating is produced and installed for public use. The winner also receives an iPad mini provided by Waiariki’s School of Forestry and Primary Industries.

It’s expected the entries will not only be comfortable to sit on but easy on the eye, to enhance an image of a modern and innovative city with forestry, culture and environment at its core.

A bonus for the students is the competition brief has been designed to allow teachers to integrate some Level 1, 2 or 3 NCEA units.

Debra Laraman, head of department of resource management at Waiariki, wanted to create a wooden product design competition specifically for secondary students, and the opportunity to collaborate with the Rotorua District Council CBD revitalisation strategy was the perfect match.

“It is hoped the competition will provide a vehicle for students to learn about wood, the importance of the industry to New Zealand and the diverse careers available in forestry and wood related industries, while providing the opportunity for students to gain recognition for their skills. We’re also hoping it will encourage secondary students to have more pride in their city,” she said.

Rotorua District Council is working with key community stakeholders like Waiariki to embrace the concept of wood being the material of choice for new and existing developments, according to Nick Dallimore, economic projects manager.

“The forestry industry is our largest GDP contributor and Rotorua is the birthplace of New Zealand's forestry industry. Rotorua is a leader in forestry research, products and innovation and the opportunity to develop this industry further is compelling.”

“The CBD revitalisation project is an ideal way to introduce ‘wood first’ into our planning and implemention and we are thrilled to be working alongside Waiariki and some of the leading forestry businesses in making this happen. Our youth are our future and providing opportunities for them to be involved with Rotorua’s plans is a great way to strengthen community pride and ownership.”

The Woodfirst Product Design competition will be launched at Waiariki on February 7 from 4.30-5.30pm in O Block. Entries close on April 5.


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