Tens of Thousands for Emirates Team NZ homecoming parade
Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images
6 July 2017
Emirates Team New Zealand homecoming parade
Tens of thousands of Aucklanders turn out to welcome the team home
• Tens of thousands of people travelled into the central city and waterfront to welcome Emirates Team New Zealand and the America’s Cup back to New Zealand.
• People gathered along the road and on-water parade route.
• Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei formally welcomed the team before the parade commenced.
• At Viaduct Harbour, the team were greeted by a haka and a performance by David Dallas.
• The on-water parade was led by waka, with a conch shell salute as the team’s boat left Viaduct Harbour.
Links to parade images below.
Tens of thousands of people gathered in the Auckland city centre and waterfront to welcome Emirates Team New Zealand and the America’s Cup back to New Zealand. Provisional crowd estimates suggest there were more than 80,000 people in attendance.
Public transport into the city centre was busy and without issues, with Auckland Transport providing an additional 30,000 seats on ferries, buses and trains for people to travel to and from the parade.
The waters surrounding the Viaduct Harbour, Princes and Queens wharves were filled with a flotilla of craft, including yachts, tugs, huge launches, and jet skis.
Poignantly, also on hand was the schooner Tara sailed by former Emirates Team New Zealand syndicate head – the late Sir Peter Blake – on his environmental voyages, which recently returned to Auckland.
Photo: Simon Watts/Getty Images
Speaking to the crowds at Viaduct Harbour, Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton paid tribute to those who had showed belief in the team, and the skill and courage of the crew who won the cup on the water.
“We’re in absolute shellshock from what we have seen today, and the warmth and the feeling from the public, and I’m going to say Auckland, but I know people have come from near and far to be with us today and it’s been just phenomenal.”
Dalton made light of the downpour which greeted the team’s arrival at the Viaduct Basin official ceremony, saying it was also raining during the launch of the team’s rocket ship Aotearoa, and – like then – the team embraced the Māori belief that rain blessed an event with good luck.
Before the team boarded a ferry to take them around the Viaduct and downtown vantage points packed with fans Prime Minister Bill English welcomed the team home on behalf of New Zealand, and Mayor Phil Goff congratulated them on behalf of Auckland.
Mayor Phil Goff said: “Despite the rain, Kiwis turned out in their tens of thousands today to welcome Emirates Team New Zealand home.
“We are proud of the team’s sportsmanship and their world leading technology, proud of their character and their skills. They took on the world’s best and brought the America’s Cup back home to New Zealand. Well done.”
Waka escorted the team out of the Viaduct, where they were greeted by a chorus of horns from awaiting craft.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says about 40 different organisations worked together to produce the street and on-water parade at short notice.
“All eyes have been on Auckland this week, and we’re so proud of the way Aucklanders have shown their tautoko and manaakitanga.
“The people of Tāmaki Makaurau have come out in the rain to show their support and hospitality, they have given up their time and resources to make this happen, working or volunteering on the parade, and they have accommodated this event in the city with patience and good grace. Kia ora Auckland.”
Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images