What a special weekend for Ki te Hoe Waka Paddle Rotorua and the Rotorua community. We commenced on Friday morning with an opening attended by our Mayor Steve Chadwick, deputy Mayor Dave Donaldson, and esteemed kaumatua (elders) Eru George (Ngāti Kea Ngāti Tuara) and Monty Morrison (Ngāti Whakaue). Having the blessing and endorsement of these people is essential to us in making this venture happen. We also had various media along, and the wonderful staff of Rotorua Economic Development and Lakes Council, who have all been invaluable in guiding us to date.
While the weather turned against us on Saturday afternoon and Sunday, we were able to take out 49 people over the weekend. And what a varied bunch they were! We had families, individuals, locals and tourists. Some experienced paddlers and many novices. Ages ranged from 3 years old to over 70 years. From around the globe - New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Argentina, France and Canada - Tumeke! A great time had by all.