A fleet of waka arrived in Wellington Harbour to mark the start of New Zealand’s largest international arts festival and the leading yachts in the Volvo Ocean Race will soon descend on Auckland Harbour during their circumnavigation of the globe.
The sailing craft - thousands of years apart in design and operation - reinforce New Zealand’s sea-faring heritage.
Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive, Stephen England-Hall says: “These maritime adventurers come from extreme ends of the sailing spectrum but what the boats and sailors have in common comes down to Kiwi ingenuity and an adventurous spirit borne out of geographical proximity to the sea.
“In Auckland, the arrival of the Volvo fleet could be a taste of what’s to come with the America’s Cup, with huge international interest. With 16,000k of coastline, it is not surprising we have a great passion for sailing and that we are recognized as one of the top sailing destinations in the world.
“The arrival of the waka into Wellington harbour, welcomed by a massed choir of more than 1000 was an unforgettable experience. It is something that is unique to New Zealand and sets us apart from the rest of the world. More than half of our international visitors experience some kind of Maori cultural experience; it is an important part of their stay in New Zealand. The images and stories from this historic event will be of great interest internationally.”
Tourism New Zealand will use the two key events to create and distribute stories and images to international media in our key offshore markets.