Air New Zealand’s Koru Lounge at Los Angeles International Airport will see the return of the Matariki Maori New Year celebration that proved successful for Kiwi businesses last year.
This is the second year that the Matariki celebration has occurred at LAX, accompanied by the promotion of Maori tourism, food, beverage, art and culture.
“LAX is one of the busiest airports in the world, and there are hundreds of people who pass through the Air New Zealand Koru Lounge each day,” says Richard Jones of Poutama Trust, one of the Matariki celebration’s sponsors. “And last year's event resulted in tangible commercial outcomes for some of the businesses that participated in the event.”
Richard says that this year's celebration is bigger and better so much so that talks are to be held with Los Angeles City Council about moving the event into the city itself. Support for this has also been sought from Auckland, which has a sister city relationship with Los Angeles.
Richard travels to Los Angeles this week for the Matariki Celebration and will meet with the Sister City events manager.
Among matters that he will discuss is taking Ngati Whatua's inflatable waka, which is to be assembled on the Auckland waterfront to promote Maori tourism and culture during this year’s Rugby World Cup, to Los Angeles for next year’s Matariki.
“The inflatable waka will be an ideal promotion in other parts of the world, and certainly would make an attractive proposition for a venue to celebrate Matariki and promote Kiwi tourism, food, beverage and culture,” Richard says.