Waka Māori on show at America’s Cup

Press Release – Ngati Whatua O Orakei Reserves Board

Moridom will take centre stage at the 2013 Americas Cup with the innovative and award-winning cultural pavilion, Waka Mori, now standing at the heart of Emirates Team New Zealands base in San Francisco.6 May 2013

Waka Māori on show at America’s Cup

Māoridom will take centre stage at the 2013 America’s Cup with the innovative and award-winning cultural pavilion, Waka Māori, now standing at the heart of Emirates Team New Zealand’s base in San Francisco.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Maia chief executive officer Tupara Morrison said it’s an honour to have Waka Māori make the journey to San Francisco alongside Emirates Team New Zealand for the 34th America’s Cup.

“Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei is very proud to have Waka Māori included in Emirates Team New Zealand’s display of New Zealand culture at its base.

“Waka Māori was originally commissioned by the hapū to showcase Māoritanga and welcome visitors to Aotearoa and we are pleased that this arrangement with Emirates Team New Zealand again puts Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei on the world stage.

“Waka Māori will provide a unique glimpse of New Zealand, the home of the world’s greatest sailors, on foreign shores and that is great,” said Mr Morrison.

In March, members of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei joined the local Amah-Mutsun people to bless the site where Waka Māori now stands. Hapū members were among those who constructed the purpose-built 70m long venue in San Francisco last month.

“The waka is a powerful symbol and will help to promote Aotearoa to the crowds that will gather for the America’s Cup.

“It will also be a special place for Kiwi businesses to meet and greet their international colleagues and guests,” said Mr Morrison.

Waka Māori will be used by Emirates Team New Zealand to host their major sponsors including New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, who will showcase Kiwi businesses and promote Auckland and New Zealand as a tourism destination.

Waka Māori has been assembled beneath the Oakland Bridge, which an estimated 300,000 people cross each day.

Emirates Team New Zealand chief executive officer Grant Dalton says the team is proud to have Waka Maori as a key part of its base.

“The waka will be a prominent part of the downtown San Francisco waterfront for four months and will be a great showcase for New Zealand. I know that we will be inspired by its presence.

“We look forward to representing New Zealand, our sponsors and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei over the coming months,” said Mr Dalton.

Waka Māori was originally designed for and drew huge crowds during the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Crafted from laminated sustainable timber and covered with a white membrane skin, Waka Māori, recently won the 2012 Industrial Fabrics Association International award of excellence at the association’s expo in Boston, Massachusetts.

“We are excited to be playing a small part in helping bring the Cup home to Auckland. Kia kaha Aotearoa and Go Emirates Team New Zealand!” Mr Morrison said.

Waka Māori
• Waka Māori is a unique purpose-built 70m long venue that was developed for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
• Waka Māori was gifted to Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei following the RWC.
• Waka Māori is the responsibility of Whai Maia – the company established to oversee tribal development for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.
• The land where Waka Māori stands was blessed by local mana whenua, the Amah-Mutsun (Native Indian), and members of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei in early April.
• Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei presented a Waka hoe (paddle), named Puputarakihi, to the Mushan Tribe of San Francisco.
• Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei uri (members) travelled to San Francisco on 22 April to assist with assembly of Waka Māori.
• International achievement award: Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Structurflex Limited won the 2012 Industrial Fabrics Association International award of excellence for the design of Waka Māori. Waka Māori was commissioned by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to showcase Maori culture, and attracted almost 400,000 visitors and led to a direct spend of around $9m into the Auckland economy during the Rugby World Cup. The award was announced at the association’s international expo held in Boston, Massachusetts.

ENDS

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