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Air New Zealand Golden Oldies World Rugby Festival


Thursday 19 October 2006

There’s No Missing the Air New Zealand Golden Oldies World Rugby Festival

A horde of nearly 4,000 rugby-lovers converging on Parliament steps, a giant marquee in Waitangi Park, there’s no doubt about it - Wellington will know when Golden Oldies comes to town.

From 29 October to 5 November, Wellington will bustle as it hosts the 16th Air New Zealand Golden Oldies World Rugby Festival. The festival takes place every two years, and is a celebration of fun, friendship and fraternity. It will include players from 15 countries, playing in more than 150 different teams.

“This event will be hugely significant for Wellington,” says Positively Wellington Tourism CEO Tim Cossar. “We are bringing in buses from outside of the region to transport the teams, much of Wellington’s accommodation will be full, and town will buzzing as it welcomes these festival-goers, all looking to sample Wellington’s great shops, cafes, restaurants, bars and attractions.”

The event will kick off on Sunday 29 October with the official Opening Ceremony on Parliament steps at 6.00pm. Teams will be welcomed by Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast and former All Black captain and festival ambassador Andy Leslie.

“Where better to hold the official opening than on Parliament Grounds,” says Air New Zealand Events Manager Keith Robinson. “The visitors will be given a glimpse into New Zealand’s political history, and this setting lends itself to a real sense of welcome and ceremony.”

The participants will then take part in the ‘Parade of Nations’ street parade, taking them from Parliament Grounds to Te Papa between 6.30 and 7.00pm. This will be followed by the Welcome Party at Te Papa, where the visitors will be treated to an evening of festivities in a location that tells the stories of New Zealand’s history, culture and identity.

But perhaps the most obvious sign the Golden Oldies are in town will be the Gala Farewell Party at Waitangi Park on Saturday 4 November. Starting at 7.00pm, the party will take place in a 5,000 square metre marquee that will be erected specially for the event.

The marquee will occupy the grass area at Waitangi Park. Over 25 semi-truckloads of equipment will come in over a two week period, with everything from power, kitchens, dressing rooms, toilets and amenities to flooring, fencing and heating just for one special night. Due to the sheer size of the marquee, a
60 tonne crane will be positioned in the park over a week in order to erect the structure.

“This is the largest temporary structure ever built for a single event in Wellington,” says Mayor Kerry Prendergast. “We want to show our visitors that Wellington has, as always, really come to the party. And we're doing that. Not only will they enjoy the hospitality and warmth of Wellington with the best party ever, but at 9.00pm they can step out onto a viewing platform to watch the spectacular 2006 Pelorus Trust Sky Show. This will truly be a night to remember.”

Key Festival Facts

· Games will take place on the Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the week. Festival participants will either take part in activities, or explore the city and region on Tuesday, Thursday and the final Saturday.
· Games will take place at: Petone Recreation Ground, Kilbirnie Park and the adjacent Evans Bay Park, and Ian Galloway Park.
· Up to 75 games will be played each day. Match times at all three rugby venues are 11.00am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm, 2.45pm and 4.00pm.

About Air New Zealand Golden Oldies:

This Kiwi invention has the central theme of ‘Fun, Friendship and Fraternity’ for those people of 35 years young and over. From regular mini-festivals, Golden Oldies is highlighted by biennial World Festivals, where fellow sportspeople of all ages from all corners of the globe join together to celebrate. The youngest will be 35 and the oldest likely to be in their 90s.

The Golden Oldies movement has grown to also incorporate cricket, netball, hockey and soccer. From the outset Golden Oldies has been supported by Air New Zealand, and the company plays a lead hand in the organisation of the Festivals, along with the Golden Oldies World Secretariat.

For more details on the 2006 Air New Zealand Golden Oldies World Rugby Festival, visit www.goldenoldiessports.com or www.Wellington.govt.nz/rd/goldenoldies.

ENDS

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