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Taranaki has this afternoon officially lodged its proposal for involvement in Rugby World Cup 2011.
The proposal to be the home base of one of the international teams as well as the site for pool matches has been handed over in Wellington by Taranaki Rugby Football Union Chief Executive Mark Robinson, New Plymouth District Mayor Peter Tennent and NPDC Manager Recreation and Events Paul Nisbet.
The proposal has been prepared by Team Taranaki – a cooperative group of agencies including the region’s four councils, the TRFU, Venture Taranaki, Sport Taranaki and others.
“Rugby New Zealand 2011’s vision is a stadium of four million, and that’s also our approach, with this proposal being made on behalf of 105,000 Taranaki folk who are incredibly keen on our region being the highlight for visitors and players during Rugby World Cup,” says Mayor Pete.
RNZ 2011 CEO Martin Snedden welcomed the proposal. “The success of the recent All Blacks-Samoa test match in New Plymouth demonstrates Taranaki’s capability in hosting major sporting events. We look forward to reading the proposal as part of the next stage in allocating matches and teams.”
Mr Robinson says Rugby World Cup 2011 will be fantastic not only for rugby, but also for the entire region. “The whole event is really about our sport being a vehicle to bring people together from different backgrounds to have a great time, and also share in our special part of New Zealand for a few weeks.
“The tournament will be a great festival and we know our entire community would embrace it with a massive level of enthusiasm when given the opportunity!” he says.
The details of Taranaki’s proposal are being kept under wraps while Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd considers all of the applications before it.
However it has been designed to bring the maximum benefit for local, national and international rugby fans in Taranaki, and for any team that is based in the region.
“Our aim is to enable any team we host to really get to know the region and experience the very best of Taranaki hospitality, so they feel that our stadium is their home ground,” says the Mayor.
“The proposal is also about making sure that every rugby fan who heads to this region and also viewers around the world will be in no doubt at all about how special this place is, and how important this competition is to us all in Taranaki.”
Venture Taranaki has backed the proposal because Rugby World Cup 2011 would put an international spotlight on the region, says Venture Taranaki CEO Stuart Trundle.
“We have a very strong regional economy, and to keep it that way we need to fill the skill shortages so that we maximise the growth potential of our businesses,” says Mr Trundle.
“Rugby World Cup 2011 is a classic opportunity to showcase why this is the best place in the world to live, to work and to visit – and just why New Plymouth has been named the Top Town in New Zealand.”