Mayor welcomes reversal of Eagles’ decision on waka trip - 25/08/2011Mayor Annette Main today welcomed the decision by the USA Eagles rugby team to participate in a waka trip on the Whanganui River as part of their official welcome to Wanganui for Rugby World Cup 2011.
“It is clear that, when they initially decided not to take part, the Eagles had not realised that the waka trip is an integral part of the welcome ceremony at Putiki Marae on September 4,” Mayor Main said.
“Now that they have a better understanding of the cultural nature of the ceremony and the importance of the Whanganui River to our community, they have confirmed that they will be honoured to join the waka trip.
“The decision to participate will mean so much to our community and will also provide an amazing cultural experience for the Eagles. I hope as many people as possible will be on the riverbank to give the Eagles a very warm welcome to Wanganui. It is a great opportunity for us to be part of Rugby World Cup 2011 and to showcase our district to our visitors.”
The invitation-only powhiri at Putiki will include the presentation of the team’s official RWC caps. Following the ceremony, the Eagles will travel on the waka from Putiki to the Waimarie berth.