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Your Weekly ‘Back-Pocket’ Guide Rugby 2017 Festival Events: 15-25 June

Your Weekly ‘Back-Pocket’ Guide
The DHL NZ Lions Series 2017 is in Rotorua this weekend for the match against the Māori All Blacks, before the tour continues to Hamilton for the match against the Waikato Chiefs and then to Auckland for the first test against the All Blacks at Eden Park.
On the field the rivalry and traditions will play out, but between matches the Rugby 2017 Festival offers the best of New Zealand and the chance for visitors and locals to get close to what makes this country so special. The Festival offers events and experiences around the match days in each Host City, and even a few in between and celebrates the Māori New Year festival of Matariki.
Highlights of the Rugby 2017 Festival around these three matches include: The Giant Haka world record attempt in Rotorua on Saturday 17 June, a short side trip ahead of the Chiefs game to Te Kuiti to honour legendary All Black Sir Colin Meads at the unveiling of his statue, and the country’s largest fanzone at Queens Wharf in Auckland opens with entertainment and live screenings of the matches.
DHL NZ Lions Series 2017 Matches
Sat 17 June: Māori All Blacks vs British & Irish Lions > Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua
Tues 20 June: Waikato Chiefs vs British & Irish Lions > FMG Stadium, Hamilton
Sat 24 June: First Test – All Blacks vz British & Irish Lions > Eden Park, Auckland






Tima Tangata Māori
Rugby Exhibition

14-17 June 9am-5pm

A static history display of the last 106 years of Māori
rugby. Past great Māori All Blacks will be helping guide visitors through the exhibition.

Rotorua Energy Events Centre, Queens Dr, Government Gardens

Gold coin donation

Rotorua Mud Rugby

17-19 June 10am-4pm

Dig your toes in for the mud tug of war, play mud rugby, show your art skills with colourful mud rugby jersey body painting or just sit back and enjoy the rejuvenating properties of the world-famous geothermal mud on your skin.

Rotorua Hells Gate

Usual entry fees apply

Giant Haka

Sat 17 June from 10.30am (attempt starts 12pm, but fans need to be present from 11.30am)

Be part of the International Rugby Club’s Giant Haka attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the
Largest Haka currently held by the French. More than
6105 participants are needed to top a 2016 attempt
in the Wairarapa which is still awaiting verification fro Guinness World Records.

Village Green (opposite Novotel Hotel)

Gold coin donation

The Big Brekkie – the morning after

Sun 18 June 8-11am

Refuel with a big brekkie before heading off to enjoy
the attractions of the area. A range of local kai (food)
will be on offer including seafood, a traditional big
breakfast and international offerings.

Rotorua Lakefront, Village Green, Cnr Tutanekai and Whakaue Sts








Until 17 June

New Zealand’s major farming and agricultural trade
show and the Waikato Chiefs are bringing a bit of
rugby to the farmers with a special Chiefs stand.

Mystery Creek, Hamilton

Adults $25, Children $15
Tickets at the entrance

Waikato Legends
at the Local

Sun 18 June From 1pm

Join former All Blacks and Waikato rugby legends for a Sunday Session talking rugby. Waikato legends include
ex All Black Steve Gordon, along with Waikato heroes Simon Crabb, Duane Monkley, Chris Ellis, Deon Muir, Doug Wilson and Wayne Warlo. Hosted by Fraser Tech Rugby Football Club, one of the most prestigious rugby clubs in the Waikato region and entry includes annual International Rugby Club membership. Bar and bistro will be open.

Fraser Tech Rugby Club Rotorua, Norton Rd, Frankton

$11 per person
Book at

Sir Colin Meads

Mon 19 June 1.30-3.00pm

Te Kuiti honours its most famous son, legendary former
All Black Sir Colin ‘Pinetree’ Meads with the unveiling
of the Colin Meads statue. Sir Colin is regarded as New Zealand’s greatest ever rugby player and was an
All Black from 1957-71 and New Zealand’s Player of the 20th Century, Sir Colin will be attending the unveiling.

Rora St, Te Kuiti (outside the old Railway Buildings)


Gala Dinner

Mon 19 June

An evening of Matariki inspired food and entertainment reliving famous ‘Lions Moments’.

Claudelands Arena, Hamilton

$299 per ticket

The Meads Brothers Exhibition, Sir Colin &
Stan Meads –
Legends of the Game

From Tues 20 June
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat & Sun 10am – 3pm

A rare glimpse into the lives of legendary All Blacks
Sir Colin and his brother Stan Meads. Featuring photos, jerseys, television footage and match programmes
amongst memorabilia never before seen by the public.

Te Kuiti i-SITE, Rora St, Te Kuiti


Waikato Fanzone

Tues 20 June
From 6.30pm

If you’re not at the game, this is the place to be – entertainment, food and beverages and the match
screened live on the big screen in a family-friendly
indoor environment.

Claudelands Events Centre, Hamilton


Hamilton Fantrail

Tues 20 June

Fan trails run from Claudelands Events Centre and
from the central city (cnr Victoria and Hood Sts) to the stadium with themed signage panels created by
Waikato primary schoolchildren and entertainment

From Claudelands Events Centre & from cnr Victoria and Hood Sts







The Body Laid Bare: Masterpieces from Tate

Until 16 July
10am-5pm daily

Explore masterpieces by renowned artists including
JMW Turner, Auguste Rodin, Pierre Bonnard, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Cindy Sherman and more.

Auckland Art Gallery, cnr Kitchener and Wellesley Sts

Tickets at entry

Matariki Dawn
Planetarium Show

Throughout June
Wed-Sun 7pm

Matariki Dawn looks at the cultural and astronomical aspects of Matariki, a group of spectacular stars.
Part of Matariki Festival 2017

Stardome Observatory and Planetarium, Cornwall Park

$12 per adult / $10 per child

Kororāreka – The Ballad
of Maggie Flynn

Until Sun 18 June
7pm (Sun 18 June 2pm)

Red Leap Theatre and Paolo Rotondo bring to life the legend of fiery Irish woman Maggie Flynn – from leaving England as a convict to arriving in Kororāreka (Russell, New Zealand) as the captain of a whaling ship; and the twists and turns of her fortune from trophy Māori slave to wife of a great chief to the Madam of the notorious King Edward Hotel.

Q Theatre


GABS Beer, Cider
and Food Festival

16 & 17 June
Session times vary

Leading brewers and cider makers from Australia, New Zealand and around the world create a unique beer or
cider for the festival. Expect plenty of creativity using
local and unexpected ingredients – cognac, tobacco, double-smoked bone marrow, raspberries, tea flowers, chillies, salted caramel and kina.

ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane

Entry fee applies with group tickets available

Matariki on the Move:

Sat 17 & Wed 21 June

A series of performance showcases featuring students
from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa performing arts courses

Sat 17 June: Otara Town Centre Stage
Wed 21 June: Metro Theatre, Mangere East


Eden Park Tours

Mon 19 & Wed 21 June
10am & 2pm
Tues 20 & Thurs 22 June

Go behind the scenes of New Zealand’s most famous stadium. Guided by historians who are passion
about sports and about Eden Park.

Eden Park, Auckland


Matariki on the Move:

Mon 19 June
11am-5pm and

A touring educational series where people can learn
about the Matariki constellation and its significance to Māori. Includes a pop-up stardome, talks and a special screening of Te Mana o Te Moana (evening session only).

Sir Edmund Hillary Library, Papakura (daytime) & Hawkins Theatre, Papakura (evening)



20 – 24 June
Sat also 3pm

Tola Newbery and Mara TK (Electric Wire Hustle) use physical theatre and music to reflect on pre-European Aotearoa and the emergence of the Māori prophet movement.

Basement Theatre, Greys Ave, Auckland


When Sun & Moon Collide

20 June – 6 July

An intimate new play from respected New Zealand playwright Briar Grace Smith: a homegrown thriller set under the brooding Tararua ranges – two Danish backpackers disappeared on a local walking track and somebody knows what happened …

ASB Waterfront Theatre, Wynyard Quarter


AXIS: Anatomy of Space

21 & 22 June
6pm & 7pm

Temp Dance Festival presents NZ Arts Laureate Daniel Belton’s AXIS: Anatomy of Space, a dance film work projected onto the dome of the planetarium drawing audiences into a kaleidoscopic journey full of movement charting space with planetary cartography.

Stardome Observatory and Planetarium, Cornwall Park, Auckland

Koha (donation) entry
Bookings essential:

Te Korakora on Federal

Thurs 22 June
5pm – 10pm

Great tunes and kai (food) feature at this Māori street carnival in celebration of Matariki, the Māori New Year;
taste the unique flavours of street kai (food) while
watching an electrifying live dance performance; grab a glow-in-the-dark moko (traditional Māori tattoo) face-paint and party Matariki-style!

Federal St, Auckland CBD


Queens Wharf Auckland Fanzone

22 June – 8 July
opening days and times vary

The country’s biggest fanzone with live match screenings, free entertainment, performances, exhibitions and family-friendly activities. Includes two photographic exhibitions – Peter Bush ‘Hard on the Heels’ and long-time press photographer Barry Durrant. DHL Dome features New Zealand’s staggering array of current rugby trophies(note the Webb Ellis Trophy – the Rugby World Cup – will be displayed July 6-8 only)

Queens Wharf, downtown Auckland


Matariki on the Move:
Waiata with Modern
Māori Quartet

Thurs 22, Fri 23 & Sun 25 June

Modern Māori Quartet shares songs and music with Auckland in a, unmissable cabaret-style music
showcase drawing on the legacy of the great Māori showbands.

Thurs 22 June – Hawkins Theatre, Papakura
Fri 23 June – Manurewa RSA
Sun 25 June – Waiheke RSA, Waiheke Island


Night Lights

23-25 June

Celebrating Matariki in radiant style with a spectacular illumination event created by local artists.

MOTAT, Western Springs, Auckland

$18 adult, $10 conc

Last Night of the Proms

Fri 23 June & Sun 25 June

Last Night of the Proms is back in true British style
marking the eve of the first test, and the day after!
Join the Auckland Symphony Orchestra and guest performers for a musical journey of traditional fun and laughs. From the soaring Jerusalem to Rule Britannia.

Fri 23 June: Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna
Sun 25 June: Auckland Town Hall


Auckland Fan Trail

Sat 24 June
From 4pm

Auckland’s famous fan trail runs from Queens Wharf to Eden Park (4.2km) packed with free live entertainment, street theatre, facepainting and giveaways.
Allow minimum of one hour to walk to the stadium.

From Queens Wharf

Fantrail map and programme

West Auckland Fanzone

Sat 24 June
From 6pm

Watch the first test live on the big screen. Free entertainment and family-friendly actitivies.

The Trusts Arena, Henderson


Queens Wharf: Choir

Sun 25 June

Featuring the Welsh Male Choir and others

Queens Wharf, downtown Auckland


Counties Legends
at the Local

Sun 25 June
From 1pm, panel at 2.30pm

Former All Blacks Joeli Vidiri, Andy Dalton and Bruce Robertson along with well-known Counties legends
feature at Legends at the Local – lunch and a panel discussion.

Bombay RFC, Paparata Rd, Bombay



Updated on 16th June 2017