PRESS RELEASE: The Copthorne Hotel & Resort Hokianga and Footprints Waipoua
One is a spirited young basketball star who has plied his trade in the NBA for four years and the other has been enchanting local and international visitors for 2000 years. On Thursday Steven Adams a New Zealand sporting icon visited the Waipoua Forest and met fellow national icon and the largest kauri tree in the world, Tane Mahuta.
For the past few years Steven has been bringing a few of his Thunder mates to New Zealand to help run basketball camps for kiwi kids up and down the country. Who could forget that video last year of Steven finding out at one camp that there was a shy child who had no intention of joining in the fun? Cue Mr 7ft nice and understanding guy and that child quickly got lost in a sea of children all having an amazing time.
While visiting Northland the team at New Zealand Māori Tourism arranged for Steven and his entourage of family and friends to stop at the Copthorne Hotel & Resort Hokianga in Omapere where coffees were sipped, scones devoured and more time than was allocated used to enjoy the wharf and large front lawn that leads to the beach. The weather gods played the game and conveniently enough a basketball from the local school made an appearance.
After arriving at the Kauri Walks car park in the Waipoua and a welcome conducted by Snow Tane, General Manager of Te Roroa the group then joined local guides from the famed Kauri Coast tour operator Footprints Waipoua to meet the kauri sentinels Te Matua Ngahere and Tane Mahuta.
The uniqueness of the environment had them intrigued and this was enhanced when their Footprints Waipoua guides connected them with information, song, chants and the playing of koauau (traditional flute). Then the moment we were all waiting for; the sight of two gentle giants facing off. It was a sight to behold and you could see and feel the respect deservedly given to the giants who have stood silently witnessing the passing time.
The Hokianga and the Waipoua Forest certainly made the most of saturating their manuhiri (guests) in giant quantities of sun, history and hospitality.
This year Steven was joined by fellow player Andrew Roberson and head coach Billy Donovan. On this particular trip Steven will also play in the aptly named Steven Adams Invitational Celebrity Golf Tournament to raise funds for the Sports Pathway Trust.