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Government Thanks Auckland For Apec

Auckland deserves a big hand for putting on a fabulous APEC event and readying the city for what will be the greatest America's Cup defence ever, Prime Minister Jenny Shipley said today.

"To show New Zealand's appreciation the Government will contribute $40,000 to the America's Cup Village Open Day event on 10 October, to say thank you to Auckland.

"With performances by Tim Finn, Drums of the Pacific, Nairobi Trio and Kantuta to name a few, along with street performers and face painting, the Sunday promises to be a great day on the waterfront.

"Auckland did us proud. Many of the APEC Leaders commented on the positive feeling of the Auckland meeting and the superb organisation. Some said it was the best APEC they had attended. That's a credit to the people of Auckland, their city and the wider region.

"The celebration day is part of Government saying thanks. We also intend to fund an artwork or conservation project as a permanent gift to mark Auckland's contribution to APEC '99. We will work with the Auckland Forum to identify an appropriate project.

"This gesture is an acknowledgment of the level of inconvenience and challenge that some Aucklanders faced during APEC.

"I, along with many other New Zealanders have been impressed with the dramatic transformation of Auckland's waterfront in preparation for the America's Cup.

"Enabling Auckland families to celebrate the new waterfront with some great entertainment will be a great way to kick off the America's Cup season.

"All New Zealanders can feel proud of what APEC achieved. We sell goods to the world and always need new customers. APEC achieved good progress in gaining new markets, new jobs and new opportunities and Auckland contributed greatly to this success," said Mrs Shipley.

ENDS

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