19 Oct 2011

Waka crowds larger than expected

6:53 pm on 19 October 2011

The Maori Affairs Minister says the Waka Maori on the Auckland waterfront was visited 170,000 times in its first four days of being open to the public.

Pita Sharples says the counts so far, of 21,700 visits on Friday, rising to 76,000 the following Sunday, are way beyond the highest projections.

He says the business case forecast a total of 100,000 visits over the final 10 days of the Rugby World Cup.

Dr Sharples notes that compares to 60,000 visiting the Giant Rugby Ball on Queens Wharf since it opened on 10 September.

The Waka features a programme of live music, kapa haka, a Maori Rugby exhibition, and a 3-D film of Maori creation.