It always amazes me what people can develop business events out of. The South Korean 'Mudtopia' festival is set to be run in Rotorua. As part of the franchise deal the 'mud' had to be purchased from South Korea, with the 'negligible' risk of Foot and Mouth disease being imported with it.
On the news simultaneously is the kiwifruit orchardists suing the Government because its MPI department allowed the importation of pollen infected with vine crippling PSA virus. Little wonder 'negligible' risks are treated with skepticism.
Opotiki of course had its infamous 'mud slide' operating a few years back for a couple of seasons. Its now depicted on one of our town murals. ( Pictured) It used cosmetic grade mud bought over from Gisborne with the only risk being to those who came hurtling down the slide at uncontrollable speed.
But I write because mud on the other side of the river outside The Wharf Hub has been used safely for centuries. Indeed culturally it was used as a 'soap' by early Maori who reportedly would cross the river, lather themselves with the mud, and by the time they had swum back they were as clean as could be.
To this day the local kids swim across and on low tide, delight in rolling in the mud and slinging it at others. Yes there's lots of fun to be had in Opotiki, and all without the cost of an admission ticket.