Champion Tasman Mako to be honoured with Key to the City

30/10/2019 10:29am

Te Tau Ihu – Marlborough, Nelson and Tasman - will be celebrating the historic victory of the Mako in the Mitre 10 Premiership, and their contribution to our community, with a parade through the centre of Nelson today, and everyone is invited.

Starting from the Tasman Rugby Union at 11.45am, the team will make its way along Upper Trafalgar Street with their Premiership Winners’ Cup. A haka pōwhiri ‘Toia mai’ by Nelson Boys College and Te Roopu Whakamanamana, the Victory School Kapa Haka Group, will welcome them at the church steps on Selwyn Place at 12.20pm.

The formal ceremony will then take place, opening with karakia and mihi timatanga (opening prayer and acknowledgements) given from kaumātua and a supporting waiata by Te Roopu Whakamanamana. This will be followed by speeches from Mayors Rachel Reese and Tim King, Marlborough Councillor Mark Peters, Tony Lewis and Wayne Young from Tasman Rugby Union and Hon Nick Smith.

The culmination of the ceremony will see David Havili, Captain of the Mako, presented with the Key to the City of Nelson by Mayor Reese. Introduced in 2013, and designed and handmade by renowned jeweller Benjamin Black, the key symbolises Nelson city. Previous recipients include Para-Olympian Liam Malone, Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and former All Black Richie McCaw.

A haka performed by Nelson College students and karakia from kaumātua will officially close the ceremony.

“It is an honour for our region to come together to celebrate this fantastic effort by everyone involved with the Tasman Mako, marking the end of the perfect season for the team,” says Mayor Reese. “The Mitre 10 Premiership is the pinnacle of domestic rugby in New Zealand, and to have our team bring home the Cup is really exciting and something we can all feel proud about. The team’s contribution to our community has been exemplary.”

The parade starts at 11.45am and the civic celebrations on the church steps commence at 12.20pm. The ceremony is expected to finish at 1.05pm. Selwyn Place will be closed from late morning until early afternoon with a detour in place.