A high-impact Māori cultural promotion of New Zealand is being planned for Auckland’s waterfront during the Rugby World Cup.
The programme will be hosted in a waka-shaped pavilion close to Queen’s Wharf. The pavilion will be demountable for use at other events after the World Cup has finished.
The project is a joint venture between Ngati Whatua and the Government, with support from the Auckland City Council. It will be integrated with, and complement, other RWC activities in downtown Auckland.
“The Waka will provide the cultural heart of the entertainment programme on Auckland’s waterfront,” said Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples. “We will showcase the very best of Māori arts, culture, business and enterprise, right in the heart of the Rugby World Cup capital.
“The haka is inextricably identified with All Black rugby, and Māori culture is a uniquely recognisable characteristic of New Zealand. This programme builds on our distinctive brand to promote New Zealand as a top visitor destination, and a place to do business,” said Dr Sharples.
“Construction is getting under way, and we are assembling the world’s best Māori arts and cultural programme, to reflect the diversity of Māori excellence, and to appeal to the greatest audience, he said.
“Te Puni Kokiri will provide most of the construction costs for the pavilion, with Ngati Whatua contributing in cash and kind. The pavilion will be owned by Ngati Whatua. The Ministry for Culture and Heritage and Prime Minister’s Department are underwriting the performance programme.
“The total outlay for the project is almost $2 million. A business plan will identify ways to raise revenue and likely income, so the net cost is not certain at this stage.
“The great thing about this project is that it promises lasting benefits. The waka pavilion will be an asset for Auckland, and the promotion will have ongoing economic benefits for Auckland and New Zealand as a whole,” said Dr Sharples.
“I look forward to a formal launch of the waka project in due course.”
Updated on 23rd July 2015