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Aucklandís Queens Wharf to Host Public Rugby World Cup Opening Ceremony

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Aucklandís Queens Wharf will host a mass public opening ceremony for the 2011 Rugby World Cup tournament and will also be the centre of a wider redevelopment of the North Wharf area.

"We have secured Queens Wharf for a number of initiatives for the period of the Rugby World Cup," said Prime Minister John Key.

"At the very least this will see Queens Wharf loaned from the Ports of Auckland for the period of the Cup."

"In the event Queens Wharf is purchased, plans such as the development of an international cruise ship terminal would occur by 2011."

The Queens Wharf development should be capable of hosting 10,000 to 15,000 people, and Mr. Key called on the leaders of Auckland as well as everyday New Zealanders to come to the party in assisting to make the most of the opportunity presented by the Rugby World Cup.

"It is through the involvement of all New Zealanders that we will maximise the experience for our visitors and send them away with a positive and warm impression of New Zealand.

"The eyes of the world will be on New Zealand, with billions of television viewers and an estimated 70,000 fans here in person.

"In short, this is the third-biggest sporting event on the planet. This is an unprecedented chance to present the best of New Zealand to the world - and in doing so attract people to visit here and invest here" he said.

Although Auckland will be the focus for the opening ceremony and final two weeks of the tournament (when semi-final and final matches are played at Mt Eden), the benefits of Rugby World Cup 2011 will be spread throughout New Zealand. Matches will be hosted as far north as Whangarei and as far south as Invercargill.

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