Construction of the Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) base for the America’s Cup is underway in San Francisco signalling the start of a series of events to showcase New Zealand businesses.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says major eventslike the America’s Cup provide an opportunity for NewZealand companies to showcase their expertise on the international stage.
“New Zealand has a strong marine and digital technology association with the America’s Cup, and this programme is about leveraging off and growing that strong relationship,” Mr Joyce says.
The programme is being developed alongside the sailing event. As part of an agreement signed between the Government and Emirates Team New Zealand, New Zealand businesses will have exclusive access to the America’s Cup racing and ETNZ’s base in San Francisco.
The home base for the events organised by ETNZ, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, will be Waka Maori, a 70-metre venue fashioned in the form of a traditional waka, built by Ngati Whatua o Orakei and used on the Auckland waterfront for Rugby World Cup 2011.
“New Zealand is a dominant player in the America’s Cup and we are taking full advantage of that position to promote New Zealand’s other stories and capabilities,” Mr Joyce says. “The United States is our third biggest trading partner and our goods and services exports continue to grow there. California alone is a market of 38 million people and remains at the
heart of global innovation.
“Waka Maori creates a New Zealand landmark that will be seen from the surrounding high rises and Bay Bridge during the America’s Cup.”
New Zealand innovation will be evident during the Cup, with componentry for three of the four racing yachts designed and built in New Zealand; Kiwi-made super-yachts berthed at the marina, an official America’s Cup smartphone app made by Dunedin’s Animation Research Ltd, and New Zealand food and wine featuring on the menus of San Francisco restaurants.
Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Maia chief executive officer Tupara Morrison said it’s an honour to have Waka Māori make the journey to San Francisco alongside Emirates Team New Zealand.“Waka Māori was originally commissioned by the hapū to showcase Māoritanga and welcome visitors to Aotearoa and we are pleased that this arrangement with Emirates Team New Zealand again puts Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei on the world stage.
“Waka Māori will provide a unique glimpse of New Zealand, the home of the world’s greatest sailors, on foreign shores and that is great,” said Mr Morrison.
“It will also be a special place for Kiwi businesses to meet and greet their international colleagues and guests,” said Mr Morrison.
Waka Māori will be used by Emirates Team New Zealand’s major sponsors including New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, which will showcase Kiwi businesses and promote Auckland and New Zealand as a tourism destination.
Emirates Team New Zealand chief executive officer Grant Dalton says the team is proud to have Waka Maori as a key part of its base.
“The waka will be a prominent part of the downtown San Francisco waterfront for four months and will be a great showcase for New Zealand. “We look forward to representing New Zealand, our sponsors and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei over the coming months.”