New Zealand’s forestry and wood products sector is set to come to the fore during Rugby World Cup 2011, with a Forestry and Wood Industries Festival planned in Rotorua to showcase the sector to Government officials, companies and visitors from around the world.
The Festival is planned to take place from 5 to 9 September in Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty. The Festival will include a range of activities, conferences, exhibitions, displays and competitions leading up to Rotorua’s first Rugby World Cup Game on 10 September.
Grant Kilby, general manager of the Destination Rotorua Economic Development Unit, said the Rugby World Cup offered enormous opportunities to industries across New Zealand – not just tourism – and the forestry sector also stood to significantly benefit from the high profile international rugby event.
“The latest estimations indicate that more than 85,000 visitors are expected to travel to New Zealand during the event, while we could expect to see a great majority of those visitors to Rotorua and the wider Bay of Plenty during the Rugby World Cup event.
“A number of those visitors will be business people and Government representatives from around the world who will combine their trip to Rugby World Cup with fact-finding missions looking at companies and sectors across New Zealand.
“This is the single biggest opportunity the New Zealand forestry and wood products sector will have in the next decade to reach potential targets and markets around the world, and we simply have to make the very most of that opportunity.
“It’s absolutely vital that the forestry and wood products sector is positioned to maximise the opportunities that will come with Rugby World Cup 2011,” he said.
The Forestry and Wood Industries Festival will include Forest Industries 2011 (FI2011) – the four yearly forest expo; a Wood Solutions Symposium, the National Wood Sector Conference with international delegates focusing on market-led wood applications.
It will involve input and support from the Rotorua District Council, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and key groups from across the forestry sector.
Other festival activities include in-forest demonstrations of forestry and harvesting machinery, technical workshops, a high profile networking event, an open day at the Waiariki Polytechnic Forestry Centre of Excellence, as well as a fun festival in Kawerau the weekend before the opening of the Festival in Rotorua.
Kilby said the festival would cover every aspect of the New Zealand Forestry and Wood Products sector, from plant to market and include everything from genetics and growing, to harvesting, processing, design, manufacturing and the links to domestic and international markets.
“Ultimately we expect to provide the forum and opportunities for New Zealand forestry companies to reinforce existing partnerships and forge new connections in the international market,” he said.