A team of people responsible for the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup took time out last week to talk to AUT University Event Management students about what it was like working as part of the biggest sporting event ever to hit New Zealand shores.
The RWC Opening Ceremony Forum was open to all events students and was coordinated to help the students get an understanding of how the opening ceremony came together.
The students heard from John Baxter, the AV content director, Robin Rawstorne, the director of design, Desiree Matchett who was the cast coordinator as well as an AUT student and Angela Hicks, stage manager along with the ceremonies coordinator and one of the performers.
Lexie Matheson, the programme leader for event management and Tatjana Ratsdorf an event management lecturer initiated the forum.
"The forum's aim was to provide the audience with a well rounded perspective of the RWC opening ceremony from design, stage management, operations and cast.
At the end of the forum, as a result of the first hand experiences that are being shared by the forum speakers, participants should have an understanding of how this world class opening ceremony came together and what it feels like to be involved in such an event," they said.
The students were shown a DVD of the ceremony and talked through different aspects of its set-up and design right through to the final night when everything had to come together.
All of the speakers said the opening ceremony took a lot of work with Desiree Matchett saying "it was two months of journey for 20 minutes of production".
She took a semester off to take on the role and said it was a fantastic opportunity to be a part of.
"This has been the biggest and best thing I’ve been involved with and these are the people that you might be working with in the future.
July 2011The AUT Winemakers’ Series continues on August 26 with Marlborough Mahi's vineyard.
Hosted at AUT ’s Four Seasons restaurant, Mahi winemaker, Brian Bicknell, will take diners through an interactive culinary journey featuring five premium wines from the vineyard matched with a sumptuous five course degustation menu prepared by some of New Zealand’s best chefs teaching at AUT.
The evening is an informal one allowing you the chance to talk with the winemakers and sommelier before or after the meal.
Cost: $95 per person
Time: 6pm arrival for a glass of bubbles, dinner commences at 6.30pm
Venue: AUT University Four Seasons Restaurant, 55 Wellesley St East, Auckland City.
Bookings: Places are limited to 60 people so please book now. Contact Four Seasons on (09) 921 9932, or email Four Seasons to book your place.
>> View the latest Winemaker's Series brochure (1 page/82KB)
|6 May||Waiheke||Stonyridge||Ethan McDonald and Chris Ward (Viticulturist)|
|24 June||Hawke's Bay||Esk Valley||Gordon Russell - NZ Winemaker of the year 2007|
|26 August||Marlborough||Mahi||Brian Bicknell|
|28 October||Martinborough||Murdoch James||Carl Fraser|
24 May 2011
Ever tried a wild goat pie? Well now is your chance. Piko has entered the 14th annual Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge and the restaurant is inviting people to come down and try the pie.
Head Chef Culinary Arts Matt Farley said his inspiration came from wanting to “showcase a wild, hunted and uncommonly used meat that is challenging to the palate and customers perceptions”.
The dish, named Celtic Rack and Pinion, will be served with a Monteith's Celtic Red Beer during the course of the competition from June 3 until July 3.
The competition, which challenges restaurants, bars and cafes to compete against one another to create New Zealand's ultimate wild food dish matched perfectly to a Monteith’s beer.
"I wanted to showcase a wild, hunted and uncommonly used meat that is challenging to the palate and customers perceptions," says Matt.
As Piko is a training restaurant, the second part of my inspiration involves expanding student horizons. This dish brings together valuable and unique experience in preparing different meats, cooking styles and balancing texture and flavour with beer.
The public will be playing a part in the competition too, patrons that try the dish can vote to help see Piko become one of the top two ‘People’s Choice’ finalists or one of five 'Expert Judging' finalists that will compete in the hotly contested live Cook Of final in Auckland on August 1.
For more information, visit the competition website.
5 May 2011
For 30 days in November and December last year, AUT University culinary lecturer John Kelleher swapped places with Phonganan Sirisaengphaiwan of Suan Dusit University (SUD), Bangkok.
The Culinary Lecturer Exchange is designed to foster educational relations between AUT and SUD culinary departments by promoting educational developments and mutual understanding.
John says he enjoyed the experience immensely.
"I taught western cuisine on Monday, Tuesday and Friday from their curriculum, which was translated into Thai," he says.
"At the end of the 30 day exchange, my family joined me and we holidayed for six weeks."
John says he was fortunate enough to contribute to Suan Dusit community projects.
"I got to help out by serving lunch to handicapped students as well as stay in a Buddhist temple in Ratchaburi province to cater for High School students that were on a religious retreat.
Some of his other highlights include:
While at AUT, Chef Phonganan Sirisaengphaiwan entertained onlookers at AUT with his vegetable carving demonstration (pictured).
10 December 2010AUT culinary arts students rolled up their sleeves and helped out in the DineAidkitchen and with other restaurants at Taste of Auckland earlier this year.
2 December 2010
“We are the rolex of long haul travel out of Japan and New Zealand is seen as a quality destination, we should always keep that in mind.”
Air New Zealand deputy CEO, Norm Thompson (pictured), the final keynote speaker in the NZ Tourism and Hospitality Research Conference hosted by AUT, says even in economic troughs organisations need to continue to research, continue to innovate and continue to invest, particularly in people, in preparation for the good times.
“Tourism is New Zealand’s number 1 export, it’s worth $9.5 billion a year and represents just under 10 per cent of the country’s GDP,” he reminded the audience.
As the final keynote speaker of the three-day conference organised by AUT’s NZ Tourism Research Institute and the School of Hospitality and Tourism, Thompson spoke of New Zealand’s unique position in the world in terms of travel, the importance of ensuring that visitors leave New Zealand as ambassadors for the country and the future of Air New Zealand.
The conference in late November gave established and up and coming researchers alike the chance to present their research.
With over 110 delegates from 17 countries, and 97 papers refereed, presented and published in a 527 page conference proceedings document, it’s fair to say the 9th annual conference has been a great success says conference chair Professor Mark Orams.
“This year themes for papers included accommodation, Asia and tourism, marine and island tourism, experiences in hospitality, food and beverage and nature based and special interest tourism plus others. Papers were evenly spread between the themes so there was something for everyone,” Prof Orams says.
Individual papers presented ranged from topics such as Taiwanese ‘love boutique motels’, the impact of swim-with-dolphins tourism on Hector’s dolphins in Banks Peninsula through to the tourist host experience at the White Lady and who has the most sunshine?-the battle for the most attractive destination.
The organising committee for the conference felt that one of the most important contributions the conference could make was to provide an opportunity and a forum for post-graduate research students and early career researchers to receive constructive feedback on their research and to offer a supportive environment at which to present their research (including their ideas, planning and initial results).
“We also made a decision to promote a better link between research, academia and the tourism and hospitality industries. As a consequence, we adopted the theme for the conference of “adding value through research,” he says.
Keynote speakers for the three-day conference included: Kevin Bowler, Chief Executive of Tourism New Zealand; Alison Morrison, Professor of Hospitality at the University of Surrey, UK; Norm Thompson, Deputy Chief Executive of Air New Zealand and Chair of the Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand. http://autserve.aut.ac.nz/nzthrc/index.php/page/proceedings
The inaugural Access Tourism New Zealand Conference at AUT University Auckland on 4 October 2010 highlighted the need to welcome foreign visitors with disabilities.
The Honourable Tariana Turia, Minister for Disabilities Issues and co-leader of the Maori Party opened the conference by describing what Access Tourism is, and how this was the fastest growing sector overseas.
"Indeed, it is a high growth industry, expanding and exploring the potential of a vast market of tourism products," she said.
"Access tourism embraces tourism, travel and hospitality. It is also a lucrative market, which can do much to boost our future economic growth and yet access tourism has been a neglected sector in New Zealand – to our distinct disadvantage.
Mrs Turia said she pledged her personal support for improving the performance of government agencies in removing participation and access barriers experienced by disabled people.
Conference organiser and NZTRI researcher, Dr Sandra Rhodda, says 17% of the NZ population have a disability and this number is bound to go up as NZ has an ageing population and disability increases with age.
“People with disabilities are in fact the largest minority group in the world. And their collective voice is getting louder, more cohesive and stronger,” Dr Rhodda says.
In Australia the Access Tourism market is worth around $4.8 billion to the Australian economy and Dr Rhodda says New Zealand is losing out on this very lucrative market by not ensuring our cities and attractions are fully accessible. “It’s an important economic and tourism sustainability issue, not just a disabilities issue.”
The conference included presentations on Rugby World Cup access issues, the world access tourism situation, hearing and sight disabled tourists, wheelchair users, transport and the law.
A hot topic of discussion at the conference was access initiatives for Rugby World Cup 2011 visitors and the opportunity such a large event offers in showcasing the accessibility New Zealand. Minnie Baragwanath (pictured) from Auckland City Council shared her passion for an accessible Auckland, with a presentation she called "Extreme Makeover", which she says is a good description of what needs to happen in New Zealand.
Mrs Baragwanath has been at the forefront of an initative to create an "accessible business toolkit" as part of the business readiness programme for Rugby World Cup.
The conference, organised by the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute, attracted an audience of about 100 people from various areas of the tourism and accessibility sectors.