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Waka Māori – taking Māori culture to the world

Hon Dr Pita Sharples
Minister of Māori Affairs

6 May 2013

Waka Māori – taking Māori culture to the world

Māori Affairs Minister, Dr. Pita Sharples has welcomed news that Waka Māori will be used in San Francisco during the America’s Cup, and says that the pavilion will show our Māori culture to the world.

Dr Sharples said “Waka Māori was a hit during Rugby World Cup 2011. It was used as a Māori cultural venue and events base, and clocked more than 400,000 visitors during the time that it was open.”

“What’s special about it, is that it not only shows our point of difference as a nation, it is an expression of pride in our Māori culture,” Dr Sharples said “and I am so pleased that it will be representing our culture to the world once more.”

“Having a Māori presence in international events is vital because it can lead to further opportunities for social, cultural or economic development; it is also about showing our young Māori kids here in Aotearoa that to be Māori is something to be proud of, and you cannot underestimate how significant that lift in spirit is for our children.”

Dr. Sharples said “Waka Māori was conceived by Ngati Whatua o Orakei, and its development was supported by Te Puni Kōkiri, and the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.”

“It was established to give a Māori edge to international events, and its unique design has won international recognition and awards, including the prestigious 2012 Industrial Fabrics Association International award of excellence for the design of Waka Māori.”

“It is absolutely fitting that this waka pavillion be the centrepiece in the New Zealand base on Pier 32 in San Francisco. It is a symbol of our nation, but it also encapsulates our long history as ocean voyagers, navigators, and innovators.”

“A waka is meant for travel, and so we always knew it would make its way around the world. I send my best wishes to the New Zealanders over there, and extend my congratulations to Ngati Whātua o Orakei.”


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