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Pita Sharples

14 November, 2012

Minister congratulates Waka Māori for International Achievement Award

The Minister of Māori Affairs, Hon Dr. Pita Sharples has today congratulated Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei, and Structurflex Limited for winning a 2012 Industrial Fabrics Association International award of excellence for the design of Waka Māori.  The award was announced at the association’s international expo held this week in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr Sharples said “Waka Māori was an innovative cultural pavilion which was first developed for the Rugby World Cup in 2011. It was commissioned by Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei to showcase Māori culture to the world, and in my view was one of the highlights of the entire event.”

“In winning such a prestigious design award Waka Maori has demonstrated it was able to achieve standards of artistic excellence alongside maximising the economic potential and the tourist value generated by the waka concept.”

“An independent survey reported that Waka Maori attracted almost 400,000 visitors and led to a direct spend of around $9m into the Auckland economy during the Rugby World Cup.”

“I am extremely pleased that the designers and creators of this Waka pavilion have been recognised for their wonderful work. I also acknowledge Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei who had the courage and foresight to bring this Waka to life.”

Dr Sharples said “To have Waka Māori recognised in the international arena is not only a proud day for the designers and iwi but for all of us as tangata whenua. We should celebrate and be proud of the fact that our culture is on show around the world.”

“Waka Māori is not only an excellent design feat, it is a proud display of Māoritanga that can represent all of us in its travels around the globe.”

“I congratulate all parties involved in the design and creation of this pavilion, and I can think of no better day to receive this news than on the eve of the third reading of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Claim Settlement Bill.”