I was surprised to find the place largely deserted. I'd expected on a Sunday lunchtime to find buskers, food concessions, entertainment, musicians, a real bustling hub of excitement - but no! There was a blow-up rugby ball: wow. There was The Slug...er, The Cloud: wow. Apart from a small stage and a large bar, it was pretty much empty. Beside that, Shed 10 - lotsa bar space to sell lotsa booze. Lotsa concrete floor, easy to hose vomit off. But otherwise empty. Wow. The only activity was the sight of two harbour tugs "dancing" to music on the harbour. Riiiiiiiiight. So that
|Artist's impression: this may |
be the best view you'll get...
Hang about: where was the waka?
I looked at the hand-out map...it didn't feature at all. I searched but couldn't find it. Turns out that's because it wasn't even there! After all the fuss, all the screams of cronyism, all the racial slurs, the Tupperwaka wasn't even ready for the tourist influx!
NZ Herald reported (02 Sept.) that
"construction of the waka-shaped pavilion is complete...ready to be assembled on-site at Te Wero Island in the week of Sept.26. The three marquees that are also part of Waka Maori and will showcase carving, ta moko, weaving and fashion will be built after the waka is in place. Event planners say Waka Maori will be ready to open on Oct.13. It runs until Oct.23." But TVNZ News (28 Sept.) showed it's a long way from final assembly!
$2m worth of plastic fantastic, designed to put maori arts, culture and sport on the world stage - yet after five months of planning, its bare bones are only just in place. Talk about running on "maori time". And IF it opens on Oct.13, it'll only STAY open for a week!
So what was the point of all this, hmmm? Waka waste!