Fireworks on the Waitemata

This Friday, you can attend a HUGE, free event on Auckland’s waterfront.  The event is to celebrate the opening of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The 10-hour programme includes concerts by Kiwi music icons, the biggest fireworks and light ever show to be held in New Zealand, 20 waka (Maori canoes) and a mass haka by 600+ kaihoe (waka paddlers), and you can see the 1st rugby game (NZ vs Tonga) live on the big screens.

50,000 people are expected to attend, so the CBD will be very busy.  There will be lots of traffic, and some roads will be closed to cars.  Auckland Council recommends that people not attending the events go home by 3.30pm to avoid getting stuck in traffic. There will be bus and train changes on Friday too, so plan how you are going to get home beforehand.

Stream 3 students at Languages International Auckland have timetable changes this Friday.  This will allow to get to the waterfront before the events begin (or to go home before the traffic becomes too crazy.)  If you are a stream 3 student, your lunchtime will be shortened.  Your afternoon class will be from 1.15pm – 3.20pm (This change is only for Friday 9 September.  Your classes will be at their normal times next week.  Your teacher will explain everything in class and can help you with any questions.)

Here is the programme:
(Friday, 9 September)

  • 4pm – Te Herenga Waka (Maori canoes arrive in the harbour.)
  • 4.40pm – Music: Dave Dobbyn and band at Queens Wharf
  • 5pm – Haka and kaihoe procession – Eastern Viaduct/Quay Street
  • 5.55pm – Mayoral welcome on Queens Wharf, followed by haka
  • 6.10pm – Music: The Finn Brothers concert – headline act
  • 7.30pm – Opening Ceremony from Eden Park live on the waterfront big screens
  • 8pm – Sound and light show – Auckland’s biggest fireworks light show ever set to music composed specially for the occasion by Don McGlashan
  • 8.15pm – Rugby: Opening Match from Eden Park live on the waterfront big screens
  • 10.15pm – Music: Concert by New Zealand music icons on Queens Wharf, featuring Dane Rumble, Midnight Youth, Kora and Manuel Bundy
  • 2am – Queens Wharf closes.

Enjoy the celebrations and post your photos of the Opening Night on our Facebook page!

Written by Hannah Robinson at Languages International
Photo by bloke_with_camera