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Rotorua getting ready to welcome Team Samoa

Press Release – Events and Venues Rotorua

Rotorua has been chosen to provide Team Samoa’s official Rugby World Cup 2011 welcome to New Zealand and the city’s RWC2011 team is gearing up for their September arrival.

NEWS RELEASE

Wednesday 29 June 2011
Rotorua getting ready to welcome Team Samoa

ROTORUA 29.06.11: Rotorua has been chosen to provide Team Samoa’s official Rugby World Cup 2011 welcome to New Zealand and the city’s RWC2011 team is gearing up for their September arrival.

As a lead in to welcoming international teams to New Zealand Rotorua District Council (RDC) director Kaupapa Maori Mauriora Kingi will be in Wellington on Thursday [30 June] to represent Rotorua, alongside local man Monty Morrison, at an official function to acknowledge the role of marae and iwi in hosting official team welcome ceremonies.

Organised by Te Puni Kokiri and hosted by Minister of Maori Affairs Dr Pita Sharples, the event also celebrates Maori engagement across a range of key activities for RWC2011. Rugby New Zealand 2011 will be acknowledging the important role they play and addressing any questions they have in planning team welcome ceremonies.

RDC’s Rugby World Cup coordinator Renee Nathan says the function is timely as the council prepares to work with Te Arawa elders, the local Samoan community, schools and businesses on Team Samoa’s official New Zealand welcome in Rotorua.

“Rotorua will be welcoming Samoa on Thursday 8 September for Rugby World Cup 2011, and we’re currently working on ways to ensure the Samoan team feels special when they arrive.

“This week’s event in Wellington will set the scene for the Rugby World Cup hosting experience and the uniqueness that is New Zealand.”

Mrs Nathan says local residents, kindergartens, schools and businesses will be invited to line the footpaths and wave flags as the coach carrying the Samoan team arrives in Rotorua. She says there will also be an opportunity for Rotorua people to join local schools at the Village Green where a mass haka will welcome Team Samoa and their supporters.

“This will be a great pre-event before the tournament officially starts on 9 September and will show the Samoan players and their fans how we welcome people to our wonderful city.”

The official welcome ceremony for the Samoan rugby team will be held at Te Papaiouru Marae in Ohinemutu at 12pm on Thursday 8 September. The formal part is not open to the public. It will include a special capping ceremony presented by RWC 2011 and each player and member of the management team will receive a (taonga) gift on behalf of the Rotorua community.

ENDS

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