Countdown to Rugby World Cup 2011

1 March 2010

It may be 556 days until Rugby World Cup 2011 kicks off but planning for Wellington's role in the festivities is well under way. One of the region's first high-profile projects was launched yesterday. A new website - WellingtonNZ2011.com - provides a one-stop-shop for local information and resources.

All Blacks player Rodney So'oialo with young fans

All Blacks player Rodney So'oialo with young fans

There will be lots more detail available as we get nearer the tournament - keep an eye out for announcements. Wellington City Council is part of a RWC 2011 Regional Coordination Group, responsible for planning the Wellington region's tournament activities. There will be seven matches, including two quarter-finals, in Wellington and the region will host ten teams. Tens of thousands of visitors are expected during the tournament and it could be worth around $45 million to the region.

The Council's Rugby World Cup Director, Derek Fry, says while there are lots of details to finalise, planning is well advanced. "This is going to be Wellington's chance to shine - the events capital will roll out the welcome mat and we'll have a great programme of activities for visitors and locals."

City Councillors will consider extra funding, as part of the Draft Annual Plan process, to secure the new waterfront Wharewaka as Wellington's RWC 2011 village base.

"We want to work with mana whenua on developing a great cultural experience," says Derek.

Other proposed aspects of the waterfront village include entertainment, big screens for live match footage and memorabilia for sale. City ambassadors will be on hand to provide information and a warm welcome. Residents can also be assured they'll be able to be part of the action.

Whether you're a rugby fan or not, there will be lots going on around the city to enjoy. We'll also work hard to ensure any disruptions around the city caused by crowds or road closures are minimised, and keep residents informed.

We've brought forward many of our infrastructure projects for completion before September 2011 and we're putting a moratorium on roadworks and similar projects in the central business district for the duration of the tournament - so there won't be extra hold-ups.

For more information about RWC 2011 planning, check out WellingtonNZ2011.com or go to the Rugby World Cup 2011 section of this website.