Waiariki Institute of Technology
Rotorua, New Zealand
0800 924 274
22 January 2013
Youth to help CBD Revitalisation
A design competition for Rotorua secondary school technology students could make things a whole lot more comfortable
around the city’s business district.
Waiariki Institute of Technology and Rotorua District Council have partnered with other local suppliers to create the
Woodfirst Product Design, a new competition that aims to generate innovative seating designs from sustainable materials
with wood being predominant, for the Rotorua CBD.
Senior students and youth aged 15-18 years are encouraged to create a sketch and/or model of their wooden design which
will then be judged. The winning entry will be linked up with a professional designer and manufacturer before the
innovative seating is produced and installed for public use. The winner also receives an iPad mini provided by
Waiariki’s School of Forestry and Primary Industries.
It’s expected the entries will not only be comfortable to sit on but easy on the eye, to enhance an image of a modern
and innovative city with forestry, culture and environment at its core.
A bonus for the students is the competition brief has been designed to allow teachers to integrate some Level 1, 2 or 3
Debra Laraman, head of department of resource management at Waiariki, wanted to create a wooden product design
competition specifically for secondary students, and the opportunity to collaborate with the Rotorua District Council
CBD revitalisation strategy was the perfect match.
“It is hoped the competition will provide a vehicle for students to learn about wood, the importance of the industry to
New Zealand and the diverse careers available in forestry and wood related industries, while providing the opportunity
for students to gain recognition for their skills. We’re also hoping it will encourage secondary students to have more
pride in their city,” she said.
Rotorua District Council is working with key community stakeholders like Waiariki to embrace the concept of wood being
the material of choice for new and existing developments, according to Nick Dallimore, economic projects manager.
“The forestry industry is our largest GDP contributor and Rotorua is the birthplace of New Zealand's forestry industry.
Rotorua is a leader in forestry research, products and innovation and the opportunity to develop this industry further
“The CBD revitalisation project is an ideal way to introduce ‘wood first’ into our planning and implemention and we are
thrilled to be working alongside Waiariki and some of the leading forestry businesses in making this happen. Our youth
are our future and providing opportunities for them to be involved with Rotorua’s plans is a great way to strengthen
community pride and ownership.”
The Woodfirst Product Design competition will be launched at Waiariki on February 7 from 4.30-5.30pm in O Block. Entries
close on April 5.