News | 17 August 2016

Another battle at Westpac Stadium –Taniwha v Wallabies

All Blacks v Australia (27 August) is expected to be one of the biggest games of 2016 in Wellington.

He Putunga Tupua logo
The Wellington Story

Before the battle takes place on Stadium soil, Ngake, one of Wellington’s taniwha, will smash his way through the Westpac Stadium’s wall to be confronted by the Wallabies in a head-on clash. This spectacular multi-media event will run from 5.30pm until 7.15pm.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says: “The Capital is delighted to welcome the best team in the world for the second time this year at Westpac Stadium.

“To see the All Blacks go head-to-head with Australia, makes this an amazingly exciting match for Wellington. A dramatic animation, projected onto Westpac Stadium, will welcome the sell-out audience.” 

Kaiwhakarite of Parliamentary Services, storyteller and cultural advisor for He Putanga Tupua, Kura Moeahu, says: “Last June Ngake fought off a Welsh dragon and banished it back to Great Britain. The All Blacks are like a taniwha with the awe and mana they carry.

“As we embark on the next the challenge against Australia, Wellington’s Kaitiaki will continue to protect its domain from all challenges. A cuddly wallaby may have hidden strengths.”

Part of the multi-media event will be a spectacular soundtrack that features the iconic haka, Ka mate famously associated with the All Blacks.

Chairperson of Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangātira, Taku Parai says the origins tell another story.

“We felt it was important to align the haka Ka mate with the story of Ngake and Whātaitai both of which are iconic for Wellington.”

3D animator for the Wallaby, Matt Pitt says creating a wallaby that can stand up to a taniwha has been challenging.

“Animator of the Taniwha, Preston McNeil, has done a fantastic job now I have to match it with a traditionally cute wallaby. I’m making the most of its big feet and tenacious spirit so it’s certainly not going down without a fight.”

The Saturday game is a sell-out with 38,000 rugby fans set to pack into Westpac Stadium.

The Taniwha v Wallaby animation will run from 5.30pm until 7.15pm at the entrance to Westpac Stadium.