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King Knut crowned in Auckland

 

 

The Auckland Stopover Race Village was officially open for business after a powhiri from local iwi Ngati Whatua o Orakei.

 

Prime Minister John Key, Minister Steven Joyce and Mayor of Auckland Len Brown joined Ngati Whatua on Te Wero island to welcome the Volvo Ocean Race family to Auckland and the Race Village.  

 

Ngati Whtaua kaumatua Taiaha Hawke welcomed everyone, speaking first in Maori, then English. He described the story behind the opening welcome song, explaining: "It asks what is this wind that blows in - it's the northwest wind that blows in, and, as history shows, it drove Hobsons ship to Auckland shores. Now it's blowing in the first Volvo competitors."


Mayor of Auckland Len Brown welcomed Knut Frostad, Volvo Ocean Race CEO, and everyone involved.

 

"Knut, I want to acknowledge you as Chief Executive Officer and all those who are the local organising committee and those who surround you and I want to say we love you so much here, that we're going to call you King Knut." 

 

Prime Minister John Key gave an equally enthusiastic welcome to the Volvo Ocean Race teams.

 

"We're a country that loves our yachting," he said. "We've got great prowess, not just with our yachtsmen and women but with the business & industry that back up the yachting industry."

 

Mr Key was quick to admit his singing skills were not vote winners but joined in to sing the traditional waiata before the dignitaries and Volvo guests exchanged hongis.

 

With the sun blazing down, there are plenty of activities to occupy the whole family in the Race Village as the excitement builds for the arrival of the fleet, now expected to arrive on Saturday, probably in the evening. Watch this space!

 

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