Waka Maori surfs wave of popularity

Thursday 16 February 2012, 2:38PM
By Pita Sharples

Survey results released today show visitors to te Waka Māori during Rugby World Cup 2011 rated the experience as highly or higher than other RWC 2011 events and venues.

“Almost 180,000 people visited Waka Māori and survey respondents reported an average satisfaction rating of 8.2 out of 10; and 27 percent gave it ten out of ten,” said Maori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples.

“Results of similar surveys were 7.7 out of 10 for the Fan Zone and the Cloud, and 7.8 out of 10 for the REAL New Zealand Festival,” said Dr Sharples.

“Over 60 percent of visitors stayed for over an hour, and visitors spent, on average, around $50 each, which means te Waka Māori directly contributed an estimated $9 million to the Auckland economy,” he said.

“Events held at te Waka Māori allowed Māori and overseas business people to establish relationships that they planned to follow up; and events for foreign media representatives helped boost New Zealand’s profile in every corner of the world.

“Overall, this survey has confirmed that te Waka Māori achieved what the Government and Ngati Whatua set out to do – to celebrate and teach people about the rich Māori cultural heritage of Aotearoa, and to showcase the contribution of Māori to New Zealand’s artistic, cultural, sporting and economic life,” said Dr Sharples.

“When you recall the impact the RWC opening ceremony had, with Māori culture as its foundation, one message is clear – tikanga Māori give us a huge advantage in the way we promote Aotearoa to the world, and we can all benefit directly by recognising and celebrating our unique heritage,” he said.

A copy of the full Waka Māori survey report can be found at