13 Sep 2011

Kaihoe not specifically targeted in Cup mayhem - waka captain

7:05 pm on 13 September 2011

The co-ordinator of the waka used in the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony, Joe Conrad, says it wasn't just waka paddlers who got hurt in big crowds at the event.

The Tamaki Makaurau MP, Dr Pita Sharples, has complained some kaihoe were physically assaulted and verbally abused.

But Mr Conrad says the paddlers were not being specially targeted.

He says the incident happened near Queen's Wharf after several hundred kaihoe finished a haka supporting the mayor's speech.

Mr Conrad says the paddlers were making their way from the wharf to Quay street, when some got left behind, in the crowd.

He says unfortunately some of the wahine and kuia got pushed and security for the opening could have been better.