Bik­ing around Ro­torua’s her­itage

Rotorua Weekender - - News - Shauni James

Learn more about Ro­torua her­itage and Ma¯ ori cul­ture while get­ting ac­tive on two wheels.

Three free Her­itage Rides are be­ing held as part of the Ro­torua Bike Fes­ti­val. A Lake­front Her­itage Ride is on Tues­day Oc­to­ber 23 and Thurs­day Oc­to­ber 25, 5.30pm to 7pm, start­ing at the Sound­shell.

It is an easy ride, suit­able for chil­dren of all ages, ex­plor­ing sig­nif­i­cant sites around O¯ hine­mutu and Lake­front area. Tues­day’s ride is in English and Thurs­day’s is in te reo Ma¯ ori.

There will also be a For­est Her­itage Ride on Wed­nes­day Oc­to­ber 24 ex­plor­ing sites around the Waipa¯ /Whakare­warewa For­est. It runs from 5.30pm to 7pm, start­ing at Waipa¯ Carpark, and is a grade two to three ride.

Te Papa Ta¯ karo O Te Arawa chief ex­ec­u­tive Paora Te Huri­hanganui says Bike Fes­ti­val or­gan­is­ers ap­proached them want­ing to en­gage more Ma¯ ori in bik­ing. They con­sid­ered what would make Ma¯ ori want to get in­volved, and came up with the her­itage rides to share in­for­ma­tion about sites of sig­nif­i­cance and pro­mote te reo.

“I think her­itage events like these are im­por­tant be­cause they show some of the unique fea­tures of our city and its his­tory, and is pro­mo­tion of the cul­ture and how Te Arawa see the world.”

Paora says it is im­por­tant to get peo­ple ac­tive, and Ro­torua has a huge nat­u­ral re­source with its en­vi­ron­ment.

“I think any op­por­tu­nity to en­gage with our lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment is re­ally im­por­tant. It’s one of the crown jew­els of our city . . . I think that is some­thing we should show­case and some­thing spe­cial about our area.”

The rides are a unique op­por­tu­nity to pro­mote te reo Ma¯ ori and sup­port Ro­torua as a bilin­gual city.

“There’s a wealth of in­for­ma­tion I be­lieve needs to be shared — ances­try, his­tory, re­la­tion­ships — that have pro­gressed over time.” The rides are the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s first at­tempt to part­ner with the Ro­torua Bike Fes­ti­val .

“It’s a door­way to many pos­si­bil­i­ties in the fu­ture.”

Photo / Sup­plied

A fam­ily en­joys cy­cling around Lake Ro­torua.

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