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McCully: Launch of The Cloud Showcase

Murray McCully

2 September, 2011

Launch of The Cloud Showcase

• Prime Minister

• Mayor Len Brown and other city leaders

• Ministerial colleagues Judith Collins and Jonathan Coleman

• Local MP Nikki Kaye and other MPs

• Bernard Lapasset, directors of RWCL

• Brian Roche and directors of RNZ 2011

• Ladies and gentlemen

This afternoon we want to introduce you to the Cloud and to the programme that will run within it for the period of the Rugby World Cup.

This is also an opportunity to thank the sector representatives that are our partners in this venture.

I am conscious that for many of you we are welcoming you for the first time to a public event on Queens Wharf.

A year ago, the site right where we are standing was used for storing bananas and parking imported used vehicles.

It looks a little bit different today.

When I was asked by the Prime Minister to lead the Rugby World Cup programme just over two and half years ago, I spent some time talking to people who had been involved in major events – people involved in the Sydney Olympics, those preparing for London.

The message that I took from those conversations was that, while we needed to execute the tournament well, we needed to be very clear about the legacy we wanted to live on afterwards.

And so we thought long and hard about how we could use Rugby World Cup 2011 to leave some legacies long after the event.

This afternoon you are seeing two key results of that work:

One of the legacy goals we set was to use Rugby World Cup 2011 to place Auckland on the international map as a truly world class city, centred on its iconic world class waterfront.

That set us off on a difficult and at times dogged pursuit of this five and a half acre wharf at the bottom of Queen St so that Rugby World Cup 2011 could see it forever become public entertainment space to be enjoyed by Aucklanders and our visitors.

For reasons that I will not dwell upon, it became clear that this would only happen if the Government stepped up with some funding.

I well remember ringing the Prime Minister and saying “look I might need to spend $20 million this afternoon to buy half of Queens Wharf – is that OK with you.”

So I do want to take the opportunity today of thanking the Prime Minister for his unstinting support, not just on the Queens Wharf project, but on the whole of our Rugby World Cup programme.

In slower time, Bob Harvey and his team at Waterfront Auckland, who have been terrific partners in this project, will lead a process of developing this public space, in a way that is consistent with the rest this magnificent waterfront.

Any of you who have walked through Wynyard Quarter, over the bridge, through the Viaduct and here to Queens Wharf will understand just how magnificent it will be.

The one plea that I make today is this:

Located on the side of this wharf is the ferry terminal.

There is no reason at all, apart from a lack of vision and will, that Aucklanders cannot enjoy access to water transport of the same quality and scale as Sydney.

We have a magnificent free highway right before us.

That is the great missed opportunity of this city.

And my challenge to Bob Harvey and his team, now that this wharf is secured for the future, is to deliver on that vision.

The second key legacy goal we set for ourselves was to use Rugby World Cup 2011, with its many thousands of visitors and massive media presence, to brand and present ourselves in a different way.

With due respect to the Minister of Tourism, we are not just a great tourism destination with magnificent scenery and unique cultural attractions.

We are a highly educated, innovative, creative, sophisticated country.

And if we intend to become a wealthier country, it will be because we have turned these attributes into bigger and better trade and economic partnerships.

That is why we developed the sector showcase programme for Rugby World Cup 2011.

During the tournament, the REAL New Zealand Showcase and the REAL New Zealand Festival will promote the best of our innovation, expertise, culture, creativity, film, fashion, food and wine, agribusiness, marine, ICT and much more.

Entry to practically all of these events will be free.

This great facility we’re opening today, and the film and exhibits we’re about to show you, are a core part of the plan to use Rugby World Cup 2011 to change the way the world sees us.

So let me tell you a little about the facility and how we will use it.

The Cloud officially opens for Rugby World Cup use next Friday 9 September with the tournament opening celebrations here on Queens Wharf.

You are the first guests and we are proud to host you.

We are taking the opportunity of this outstanding venue to host leaders of the Pacific Nations for the 42nd Pacific Islands Forum next week: The 40th anniversary of the Forum.

For the next week, the Cloud will be in Pacific Showcase mode – providing our Pacific neighbours with a chance to display their credentials- before shifting back into the New Zealand Showcase mode you see today.

The Cloud has 3 zones in this main building, a media lounge at the harbour end and the NZ 2011 Business Lounge upstairs.

That Business Lounge is an outstanding venue - and I hope you take a moment to walk up there today and savour the view. Personally I can’t wait to host international visitors and media in that space and to see them experience Auckland’s magnificent harbour from such a great vantage point.

Within the main part of the Cloud you will see the innovation of 165 New Zealand businesses. They have been chosen because their products are changing international perceptions of New Zealand.

They demonstrate that we are a creative, innovative and technologically skilled nation.

The two huge AV screens will feature footage of our main sectors and key businesses ranging from aquaculture to ICT and fashion to marine.

This AV showcase includes a new 8-minute long film produced by Michael Barnett and Gibson Group for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to tell the story of some exciting New Zealand businesses.

Some are household names – Fisher & Paykel Appliances, Gallaghers, Zespri and Fonterra. Others are less well known but exciting companies like Dynamic Controls, Lanzatech, Obo and Zephyr Technology.

This is the beginning of us telling the story of New Zealand innovation creativity and skill. But it is only a beginning. It is my hope that this will be the first part of a new campaign to improve our branding and presentation.

Briefly, around the rest of the Cloud:

There are 25 innovative stories on display in the pods that will change during the tournament and be moved out of the way when we are watching rugby or staging an event here.

Shortly you will get a preview of “Taste at the Cloud”.

It is the most significant coordinated showcasing of New Zealand food and beverage ever.

Which it should be, given 50% of our exports come from food and beverage.

Taste at the Cloud will feature signature dishes by some of New Zealand’s top chefs, including Josh Emett, Annabel Langbein, Justin North and Warren Turnbull.

70 wines have been specially chosen to complement the dishes.

I mentioned the NZ 2011 Business Lounge earlier. It will be used for a range of business and VIP functions throughout the tournament.

It is open for business networking every day from 3pm till 5pm from 13 September. Today I invite you to join the NZ2011 Business Club and then use this outstanding facility to host visitors during the tournament.

Register online or register at the reception area just outside the Business Lounge.

The Media Lounge (over there) opens for business on 9 September to host journalists from around 200 international media organisations accredited for Rugby World Cup 2011. We want our media visitors to feel part of the excitement here on Queens Wharf and to use this as a backdrop for international media coverage.

There are a huge number of events and displays happening in the Cloud during the tournament. I don’t have time to go through them all today but I encourage you to review the programme and start planning to be here.

There is something for everyone – from the free fanzone for peak Rugby World Cup matches to fashion shows, music and comedy nights, Canterbury Week, and a Robotics World Cup.

Our music industry will have the opportunity to showcase their talents here and provide world class entertainment during the six weeks of the tournament.

To officially start the proceedings at the Cloud for Rugby World Cup 2011 I now hand over to the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key.

I want to conclude today’s formalities with the first showing of the new film reel showcasing New Zealand innovation and creativity, produced for NZTE by Michael Barnett and Gibson Group.

Included are names many New Zealanders will recognise. Some names have recently come to public attention. Some will be not so familiar.

I will let it speak for itself.

Before I close and invite you to look around the Cloud, there are a number of people to thank for making the Cloud a reality.

• Sectors

• Many of New Zealand’s finest companies

• Michael Barnett and Peter Winder

• NZTE – Peter Chrisp and his team

• NZ2011 – Leon Grice and his team

• Dave Gibson and the Gibson Group for the film

• And a talented and dedicated group of designers and builders


ENDS

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