Waka Māori, being launched this evening on the Auckland waterfont, is a vessel for Maori culture, and a vehicle to convey ‘many people as one’ around the globe, according to Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples.
Illustration of the Waka Māori being constructed at Auckland.
“While the physical waka pavilion is still under construction, we are celebrating its precious cargo – the indigenous people, language, culture, and business that will represent New Zealand on a world stage,” said Dr Sharples.
“This is a bold voyage of discovery unlike any other in our history. From the waterfront of the Waitemata, we will venture into homes and corporate boardrooms in every continent, seeking to make contact with the local people, and looking for cultural exchanges and trading opportunities,” he said.
“This virtual journey will be undertaken in a thoroughly modern waka, transcending physical horizons through broadcast and internet technology.
“The programmme we have assembled, together with Ngāti Whātua, represents a broad range of indigenous Aotearoa arts and music, food, fashion and design, creativity and enterprise, born out of tradition, innovation and cultural fusion,” said Dr Sharples.
“This is the centrepiece of a nationwide programme by Māori groups to meet and engage face to face with visiting teams and supporters, to demonstrate contemporary Māori culture and its place in Aotearoa, and to establish lasting relationships with people all round the world.
“Our view is that rugby, tourism and trade are good for Māori, and Māori are good for rugby, tourism and trade. What’s good for Māori is good for New Zealand, and we look forward to all New Zealanders joining us to support this ambitious programme, to promote Aotearoa as a whole,” said Dr Sharples.
Updated on 23rd July 2015