16 Feb 2012

Waka contributes $9m to economy - Govt

7:17 pm on 16 February 2012

The Government estimates visitors to Waka Maori contributed $9 million to the Auckland economy during the Rugby World Cup.

The $1.9 million publicly-funded, land-based plastic canoe featured on the city's waterfront for 10 days during last year's tournament.

A survey compiled by Te Puni Kokiri - The Ministry of Maori Development shows respondents rated the venue 7.9 out of 10, reserving a lower score of 6.7 for how comfortable the seating was.

The Auckland hapu, Ngati Whatua o Orakei, developed the waka concept and now owns the attraction.

A spokesperson for the sub-tribe, Ngarimu Blair, told a presentation on the Maori economy in Wellington that the canoe became a beacon for Maori culture.

He says waka Maori was like an extension of the hapu's marae, sharing stories and offering manaakitanga, or hospitality.

Two thirds of visitors to the waka were New Zealand European.

The survey polled 482 respondents, and the results have a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 4.5%.