Hot Topic Reporting season
Hot Topic Reporting season
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Rugby World Cup visitors promised Kiwi 'kai cart' welcome

"Party Central" details are announced. Is this the best we can do?

NBR staff and NZPA
Thu, 30 Jun 2011


A flurry of announcements from Rugby World Cup organisers and the government today has Word of a Lie wondering just what sort of welcome we are rolling out to the world when the tournament starts in 10 weeks.

First, details of plans for the “nation’s premier Rugby World Cup 2011 Fanzone” on Queens Wharf in Auckland were revealed in a press release from the minister in charge of the cup Murray McCully and Auckland mayor Len Brown.

Construction work on Queens Wharf and The Cloud, where wharf activities will be focussed, was nearing completion on time and within budget, the politicians said.

The Cloud would be open everyday of the six-week tournament, where visitors would be able to watch the 48 matches live on big screens and be entertained by Kiwi bands.

Tourism New Zealand’s Giant Rugby Ball will be parked up after its “homecoming” from tourism promotions in London Paris, Tokyo and Sydney.

The Cloud would also “showcase” a series of business and innovation events with official merchandise to buy.

The fanzone promised “something for everybody,” Auckland Mayor Len Brown said.

“Aucklanders and visitors should make Queens Wharf the centre of their RWC 2011 plans,” he said.

Major event sponsors were also said to coming to the Queens Wharf party.

ANZ was building a 16 metre high ‘ANZ World’ in the centre of the Queens Wharf which would use the “latest in technology and entertainment” to offer visitors “a truly unique and engaging interactive experience.”

DHL was bringing to the party its “interactive exhibition zone” which would “engage and challenge fans with gaming activities and simulated experiences that ill appeal to adults and children alike.”

At least there should be somewhere to drink. Heineken is setting up the ‘Heineken Experience’ in the avenue side of Shed 10 with bar and entertainment and Brancott Estate would build a wine bar inside The Cloud. Tui t-shirts forbidden.

Standby for more announcements on sponsor activities on the wharf in the near future.

Cultural welcomes for all teams

Details have also emerged on how each team will be “warmly” welcomed to the country on arrival, with 12 marae and eight civic ceremonies.

Organisers said the 20 teams would receive their official welcome in the region where they first arrive.

A key part of each welcome would be an official capping ceremony, bestowing players an official commemorative cap for just taking part.

Japan will be first team to be welcomed on September 1 at Auckland's Aotea Square in Auckland and Russia the last on September 8 at Blenheim’s Omaka Marae.

New Zealand will be marae of four million – Sharples

Marae across the country would also open their doors to teams and visitors.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples and the International Rugby Board (IRB) announced 15 marae from Invercargill to Waitangi would host teams and other VIPs on behalf of the nation from September.

"From heartland New Zealand in the rural provinces to our biggest cities, New Zealanders will stand together to powhiri the world," Dr Sharples said.
New Zealand would not only be a stadium of four million, but "a marae of four million proud hosts".

(Do these VIPs need to know there’s no booze on the marae?)

Dr Sharples said the tournament had sparked exciting tourism and businesses developments for Maori communities, with more than 200 Maori-led projects planned nationwide.

"Today's announcement demonstrates the unique impact Maori will have on our hosting of Rugby World Cup 2011, as we prepare to stand alongside our fellow New Zealanders to welcome the world to Aotearoa."

NBR staff and NZPA
Thu, 30 Jun 2011
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Rugby World Cup visitors promised Kiwi 'kai cart' welcome