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Speech; Sharples: Announcement of RWC Host Marae Event

Press Release – New Zealand Government

• Nga mihi ki te tangata whenua o Te Whanganui a Tara, ki Te Atiawa (speakers are still being confirmed) • Nga mihi ki Te Raukura (te Wharewaka) e whakamaru ai i te tima mai i Awherika ki te Tonga a te rima o nga ra o Mahuru • He mihi ki …Minister of Māori Affairs

Announcement of RWC Host Marae Event
Te Raukura (te Wharewaka), Wellington
30 June 2011
• Nga mihi ki te tangata whenua o Te Whanganui a Tara, ki Te Atiawa (speakers are still being confirmed)
• Nga mihi ki Te Raukura (te Wharewaka) e whakamaru ai i te tima mai i Awherika ki te Tonga a te rima o nga ra o Mahuru
• He mihi ki nga marae, ki nga iwi kua haere mai i nga topito o te motu, ki te manaaki i te karanga o tenei ra.
• He mihi ano hoki ki te iwi whanui o tenei rohe, ki nga kaiwhakahaere hoki o te Ahurei Whutupaoro o te Ao, tena koutou katoa.

• Today is a key milestone for Māori engagement in RWC 2011. The significant opportunities for Maori, arising from the Rugby World Cup 2011, are coming to fruition.

• While the tournament in New Zealand has been billed as a ‘stadium of four million’ – we collectively are also a marae of four million proud hosts.

• I would like to acknowledge:
o First, the whare we are standing in today, Te Raukura, Te Wharewaka o Poneke, and the tangata whenua of Te Whanganui a Tara, the Wellington region.
o IRB Rugby World Cup Head Kit McConnell, and his team from Rugby New Zealand 2011.
o Te Puni Kōkiri Chief Executive Leith Comer, and Deputy Secretary Relationships and Information Herewini Te Koha.
o The representatives of the marae and iwi who have travelled to share in today’s announcements.
o Representatives of the wider community and host Rugby World Cup regions also here in support of this special occasion.

• As you all know when we welcome manuhiri to any of our marae, we welcome them warmly and with dignity, we host them to the best of our abilities, we extend manaakitanga and we also make connections – whakapapa in our reo – to our manuhiri. Connections that will extend way beyond the hui or event itself.

• And when we do all of this with our manuhiri tuarangi in 70 or so days, the world will say these are people who we feel connection to, these are people of mana.

• This is already happening. Teams have specifically asked for the chance to engage with tangata whenua while they are in Aotearoa.

• There are more than 200 Māori led RWC projects happening up and down the country, including festivals and events that iwi and Māori communities are hosting from the Far North to the South.

• RWC 2011 is a huge undertaking for our ‘marae of four million’ but you can be assured that the Government and our departments, including Te Puni Kokiri, are fully committed to supporting the country in making the most of the opportunities our hosting of the tournament will create.

• Over the last few years it has been a great privilege to work with Kit and the IRB officials and Martin Snedden’s team to create opportunities for Māori and iwi across the country through our collaborative working relationship.

• It is a unique honour to represent the government right across the tournament programme.

• Together we are making huge progress in the Rugby World Cup in many areas. I would like to acknowledge Ngāti Toa’s work in the RWC art and retail programme. Māori businesses are signing up in significant numbers to be part of the NZ2011 business club.

• Some people may ask ‘Why is this important? Why are we investing in this?’ My team and Ngati Whatua came under significant initial media pressure over the Waka Māori initiative. Now people are seeing the importance in what we are trying to achieve for Māori and for New Zealand.

• For New Zealand the answer is simple – when you have very little time to make a statement to the world about who you are, indigenous symbols and culture are unique, and achieve immediate ‘cut through’. This is why Waka Māori is so important for all of New Zealand.

• But for Māori we are doing this because at no other time in the history of our country since 6 February 1840 will we, Māori communities, have so great an opportunity to shape how we want to engage with the world.

• The question is: What do we want the world to think of us? What do we want the world to think about our language and culture, our products and businesses? Where amongst the many peoples of the world do we want Māori to be seen?

• This is why I have directed my officials to make sure that Māori are fully engaged across the broad spectrum of RWC opportunities.

• You may recall a while back that we struggled a bit with appointing RWC Māori ambassadors. I am happy to report that Waka Nathan, Taine Randell and Buck Shelford are all performing different ambassadorial roles around RWC.

• But the most important RWC ambassadors are the marae and tangata whenua whose names I have great pleasure in reading out to you. You are our Māori RWC ambassadors. Yours is the first call of welcome to our manuhiri onto your marae, and you will be extending manaakitanga to the visiting teams on behalf of all Māori and all of New Zealand.

• I also want to note the special role that the people of Ngai Tuhoe will play,accompanying the teams onto their host marae and assisting the visitors with matters of kawa and tikanga.

• You will create unforgettable memories for the competing nations and the people who will watch the ceremonies on television screens across the world. You are charged with connecting our whakapapa to the world.

• So, it is my pleasure to announce that the host marae and iwi that will work with their communities to welcome visiting RWC teams are: [to be projected onto a screen]:

1. On behalf of the Northland region, and welcoming Canada and IRB match officials – Waitangi Marae;

2. On behalf of the Tamaki Makaurau region, and welcoming France, IRB staff and tournament support staff – Orakei Marae;

3. Also on behalf of Tamaki Makaurau (ki te Tonga), and welcoming Tonga – Papakura (Whātāpaka) Marae;

4. On behalf of the Waikato region – actually, on behalf of all of us – and welcoming our mighty All Blacks – Tūrangawaewae;

5. On behalf of the Taupo region, and sharing in the welcome of South Africa – Waihī Marae;

6. On behalf of Te Tai Rāwhiti, and welcoming Namibia – Te Poho o Rāwiri Marae;

7. On behalf of the Tauranga region, and welcoming Fiji – Huria Marae;

8. On behalf of the Rotorua / Te Arawa region, and welcoming Samoa – Ohinemutu Marae;

9. On behalf of the Whanganui region, and welcoming the USA – Pūtiki Marae;

10. On behalf of the Wairarapa, and welcoming Georgia – Te Ore Ore Marae;

11. On behalf of the Wellington region, and welcoming Wales – Takapūwāhia Marae;

12. Also on behalf of the Wellington region, and completing the welcome of South Africa – kō tēnei whare – Te Raukura, ā, Te Wharewaka ō Pōneke;

13. On behalf of the Nelson region and welcoming Italy – Wakatū Marae;

14. On behalf of the Blenheim and Marlborough region, and welcoming Russia – Ōmaka Marae;

15. On behalf of Invercargill – the Southland region, and welcoming Scotland – Te Rau Aroha Marae.

• Once again, congratulations, and our best wishes, to all of those marae, their people and the host regions concerned.

• A final word. We know that, had it not been for the devastating earthquake in February, that the peoples of Canterbury – and their marae – would have taken their place alongside you all to extend their hospitality to our Rugby World Cup manuhiri. I know that you will do them, and all of us, proud.

• Kia ora.

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