In­side word on Harry and Meghan’s Ro­torua itin­er­ary

Bay of Plenty Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

In just over three weeks mil­lions of eyes will be on Ro­torua as the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex make their way to town.

The de­tails of the royal itin­er­ary have been re­vealed and lo­cal tourism op­er­a­tors and city lead­ers say the visit will be the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to shine a spotlight on Ro­torua.

Prince Harry and Meghan will be in Ro­torua on Oc­to­ber 31 and their first stop will be to visit Te Pa­paiouru Marae for a for­mal po¯hiri and lunch.

The Duke and Duchess will then head to Rain­bow Springs to learn about the cen­tre’s kiwi breed­ing pro­gramme be­fore head­ing to the city to visit Ro­torua’s Gov­ern­ment Gar­dens.

Mem­bers of the pub­lic are ex­pected to gather in the city to catch a glimpse of the cou­ple be­fore they make their way to Whakare­warewa For­est where they will take on the Red­woods Tree­walk Ro­torua be­fore meet­ing in­vited rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the lo­cal moun­tain bik­ing com­mu­nity.

Nga¯ti Whakaue kauma¯tua Monty Mor­ri­son said he was “hon­oured and hum­bled” for Te Arawa and Ro­torua to be asked to show­case who they were to the roy­als.

Mor­ri­son said it was an op­por­tu­nity to show­case lo­cal cul­ture and the unique re­la­tion­ship and his­tory shared with the royal fam­ily to the world.

“I want to show them who we are to­day and give them a glimpse into the pos­si­bil­i­ties of our shared fu­tures. Car­ing for each other and build­ing a fu­ture of prom­ise and pros­per­ity, in which all can par­tic­i­pate. Am I ex­cited, I think I am be­yond ex­cite­ment,” Mor­ri­son said.

Des­ti­na­tion Ro­torua chief

Visit Te Pa­paiouru Marae for a for­mal po¯hiri and lun­cheon.

Head to Rain­bow Springs to learn about the cen­tre’s kiwi breed­ing pro­gramme and name two kiwi chicks.

Meet the pub­lic out­side Ro­torua’s Gov­ern­ment Gar­dens.

En­joy the Red­woods Tree­walk Ro­torua where they will learn about the his­tory of the for­est.

Meet with in­vited rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the lo­cal moun­tain bik­ing com­mu­nity at Whakare­warewa. ex­ec­u­tive Michelle Tem­pler said the or­gan­i­sa­tion was look­ing for­ward to wel­com­ing the royal cou­ple and show­cas­ing lo­cal man­aak­i­tanga (hos­pi­tal­ity) on an in­ter­na­tional stage.

“It’s also a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to host the thou­sands of na­tional and in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors that will flock here to catch a glimpse of the cou­ple at key points dur­ing the day,” Tem­pler said.

She said the eco­nomic im­pact of a royal visit was “sig­nif­i­cant” to Ro­torua.

“Rang­ing from the money that the visit­ing me­dia and on­look­ers will spend in restau­rants and cafes, as well as the me­dia cov­er­age that will be gen­er­ated.”

Tem­pler said Prince Wil­liam’s 2014 visit was worth more than $86 mil­lion in ex­po­sure for New Zealand and she ex­pected Ro­torua to fea­ture strongly in the in­ter­na­tional cov­er­age gen­er­ated by the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex.

She said the royal cou­ple’s move­ments at­tract “in­tense in­ter­est” in both the UK and the US which were key tourism mar­kets for Ro­torua.

Tem­pler said Chi­nese trade part­ners were very in­ter­ested in the roy­als’ itin­er­ary and had been talk­ing to Des­ti­na­tion Ro­torua about repli­cat­ing the royal ex­pe­ri­ence in their travel pack­ages.

Ro­torua deputy mayor Dave Don­ald­son has been in­volved in or­gan­is­ing the itin­er­ary for the Ro­torua leg of the royal visit.

He said that, con­sid­er­ing the amount of time the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex had in the area, the ac­tiv­i­ties cho­sen meant the “best things” about Ro­torua would be on show.

Don­ald­son said it would be spe­cial for the royal cou­ple to visit Te Pa­paiouru Marae as it was the ap­pro­pri­ate place for tan­gata whenua to wel­come the vis­i­tors and for Ma¯ori cul­ture to be cel­e­brated.

The pub­lic had an op­por­tu­nity to get a glimpse of the roy­als when they make their way to Ro­torua’s Gov­ern­ment Gar­dens and Don­ald­son ex­pected many lo­cals and re­gional vis­i­tors to take that op­por­tu­nity.

Don­ald­son said the roy­als would learn about the his­tory of the Whakare­warewa For­est when they take on the Red­woods Tree­walk and they would also get to meet lead­ers of the lo­cal moun­tain bik­ing com­mu­nity.

When asked if the Duke and Duchess would be giv­ing moun­tain bik­ing a go, Don­ald­son said it was “un­likely”, how­ever, there would be some bikes on hand just in case.

Rain­bow Springs busi­ness man­ager David Hen­ni­gan said he was “thrilled” to be able to share the im­por­tant kiwi con­ser­va­tion mahi the or­gan­i­sa­tion did.

Hen­ni­gan said the full de­tails of what the roy­als would do at Rain­bow Springs could not be dis­cussed yet, how­ever, it was an­nounced the royal cou­ple would meet with con­ser­va­tion­ists work­ing to pro­tect the kiwi and would also get the op­por­tu­nity to name two young kiwi chicks.

He said the roy­als would be the first to visit the newly re­de­vel­oped Na­tional Kiwi Hatch­ery Aotearoa (for­merly Kiwi En­counter) and the Kiwi Bur­row.

“We are ab­so­lutely de­lighted that the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex will be the first to visit the new ex­pe­ri­ence, which will be open to the pub­lic soon. The visit will give us the op­por­tu­nity to share the kiwi’s story and the im­por­tant work that we do, with New Zealan­ders and the rest of the world,” Hen­ni­gan said.

PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES

The Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex will be visit­ing Ro­torua on Oc­to­ber 31.

PHOTO / FILE

Ro­torua’s BayTrust Res­cue He­li­copter will be axed on Novem­ber 1.

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