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Auckland's Maori Identity 'will help make the Cup a win for NZ'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The return of the America’s Cup to Tāmaki Makaurau is a real opportunity for the region to lift the promotion of its Māori identity, Chairman of the Independent Māori Statutory Board, David Taipari says.

"It’s no surprise that Team New Zealand’s winning boat is called Aotearoa. Nothing speaks "New Zealand Inc." more strongly than our Māori identity. The Auckland Plan identifies this region’s Māori identity as its unique point of difference in the world.

"The next America’s Cup challenge is brimming with opportunity for Auckland Council and its Council Controlled Organisations; in particular ATEED, Panuku, and Auckland Transport, to work with Mana Whenua from day one to create an experience that is not only unique, but delivers direct economic benefits to all Aucklanders.

"This will require determination, tenacity and creativity on the part of Council and its agencies as well as investment and partnership-building. But it will be worth the effort. Think waka on the waterfront as part of a wider maritime experience, stunning Māori digital and installation art in public places, a Māori quarter downtown, bi-lingual signage that brings Auckland in line with many international cities in presenting our bicultural heritage, pou whenua that tells the story of this region. The ideas are endless," David Taipari says.

Over half of New Zealand’s Māori asset base (about $23billion-worth) is based in Tāmaki Makaurau. David Taipari says that lifting the economic performance of those assets by partnering with Mana Whenua on Cup regatta projects will benefit all Aucklanders, through unique cultural experiences and by strengthening the already emerging Māori economy.

"This means partnering with Mana Whenua now to plan for a Cup regatta that is uniquely Aotearoa and uniquely Tāmaki Makaurau," David Taipari says.

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