Cup competition for best dressed street

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By LAURA MCLEAY

With Rugby World Cup 2011 less than a month away, Mata­mata peo­ple are do­ing their bit to make the town a wel­com­ing place for vis­i­tors.

Mata­mata Pub­lic Re­la­tions As­so­ci­a­tion’s Sue Whit­ing said when vis­i­tors started to ar­rive, the as­so­ci­a­tion wanted the town to feel invit­ing.

‘‘We be­lieve that dur­ing this event, we as a small town need to be as friendly and as wel­com­ing as pos­si­ble,’’ she said. ‘‘So we are pre­par­ing a banner to hang across Broad­way and will be putting up a lot of in­ter­na­tional flags.’’

The world cup starts on Septem­ber 9 with New Zealand play­ing Tonga in Auck­land at 8.30pm.

New Zealand is ex­pect­ing a surge in vis­i­tors dur­ing the tour­na­ment but Mata­mata mo­tels and bed and break­fast busi­nesses spo­ken to by the Mata­mata Chron­i­cle said they were yet to re­ceive any book­ings.

Mata­mata Cen­tral Mo­tel owner John Mas­son said they had not had a sin­gle book­ing for the cup as small towns did not seem to be vis­i­tors’ first port of call. ‘‘ I think once Auck­land fills up, they will start com­ing down to the smaller towns,’’ he said.

‘‘We have not had to raise any of our prices be­cause there is no crowd – no rush just yet.

‘‘ I think when over­seas peo­ple are look­ing at a map, Mata­mata looks far away from Auck­land but once here, I think they will find it isn’t too far and come to stay.’’

Mr Mas­son said he be­lieved that Mata­mata would mainly see vis­i­tors just trav­el­ling through, rather than staying overnight.

The New Zealand 2011 of­fice has an­nounced a new competition for small towns to par­tic­i­pate in dur­ing the rugby world cup.

They are on the look­out for the best dressed street which will win a fully-catered street party with re­fresh­ments for 50 peo­ple, live en­ter­tain­ment and a mar­quee. The party will be on Oc­to­ber 15, just be­fore the first cup semi-fi­nal.

Shops are free to dress their shop win­dows in sup­port of the cup and to leave a last­ing im­pres­sion on vis­i­tors.

The competition ends Septem­ber 23.

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