Welcome Argentina's Rugby Team

4 September 2012

Excitement is building as the All Blacks prepare to play in Wellington for the first time since last year's Rugby World Cup.

Gabrielle Barnett-Bates (left) and Sian Evans from St Brigid's School

Gabrielle Barnett-Bates (left) and Sian Evans from St Brigid's School

It's a special match - the first time Argentina will play New Zealand in the new 'Rugby Championship', which has replaced the old tri-nations series.

To mark the occasion, and to offer a warm welcome to Argentina and our All Blacks, Wellington school children have designed some flags to brighten up the waterfront and their classrooms.

The top designs will be made into flags and flown around the city on the day of the big match, this Saturday (8 September).

Two pupils from St Brigid's School in Johnsonville were among the winning entries. Year 6 pupil Sian Evans, 10, says it took her about a week to finish her design. She wanted to combine the colours of both countries.

"My flag's background is a mixture of Argentina and New Zealand colours. I drew an Argentinean sun counting 31 flames around the sun and the silver fern counting 26 leaves."

Classmate Gabrielle Barnett-Bates, 10, says she looked at both countries' passports and got the idea for a coat-of-arms design.

"They are united in rugby," says Gabrielle.

Argentinean Ambassador Fernando Escalona says Argentina and New Zealand enjoy an excellent relationship - having many things in common, especially hospitality, friendship and a love for nature and sports - and the Pumas playing in the Rugby Championship will further strengthen ties with "people-to-people" contacts.

"The children's flag designs are amazing and they clearly show their imagination and creativity. We like all of them very much at the Embassy," says Ambassador Escalona.

"I'm looking forward to meeting them in the near future to personally express our congratulations for the nice work they have done. They deserve an exhibition at Te Papa!"

The match kicks off at 7.35pm but there will also be plenty of action for the whole family on the waterfront throughout the afternoon.

We will reopen the Fanzone in Odlins Plaza on the Taranaki Wharf from 12 noon to 6.00pm - there will be face painting, Kiwi and Argentinean music, giveaways and an Argentinean-flavoured barbecue.

At 1.30pm, there will be free tango dance lessons, courtesy of the Embassy of Argentina.

At 3.00pm and 4.00pm the youth percussion band, Batterie 100, will perform and from 4.30pm, The Man's will play favourite Kiwi songs. Batucada will join the festivities at 5.30pm as everyone prepares for the fan parade.

Everyone is welcome to join the thousands of All Blacks and Argentine fans - along with Batterie 100, Batucada, tango dancers and flag bearers - for the walk to the stadium at 5.45pm.

For more details on the waterfront activities, see:

Events - All Blacks vs Argentina Rugby Fanzone

For information on other events leading up to the All Blacks vs Argentina test match, see:

Power and Passion website

Road Closures & Taxi Ranks

If you're coming into town, there are a few things you need to know. There will be a lot of pedestrians walking to and from the stadium.

For their safety, we will close some roads in the area - this will cause as little disruption as possible to public transport and motorists.

The following roads will be closed to traffic from 8.30pm to 10.30pm:

  • Bunny Street at its intersection with Featherston Street
  • Mulgrave Street between Aitken Street and the intersection of Featherston Street and Thorndon Quay
  • Kate Sheppard Place at its intersection with Mulgrave Street
  • Thorndon Quay between Davis and Featherston streets (local access only)
  • Featherston Street between Thorndon Quay and Whitmore Street (local access only)
  • Stout Street between Whitmore and Bunny streets (local access only).

Local access refers to residents, businesses, public transport and taxis.

Bus schedules will be running as usual. There will also be taxis available from:

  • outside the Railway Station
  • the north and south side of Bunny Street
  • the bottom of the spiral on Thorndon Quay
  • the Featherston Street section of Stout Street.

The usual access arrangements will be in place, including pick-up and drop-off at the bottom of the spiral on Thorndon Quay and adjacent to the stadium car park.

If you would like an accessible park at the stadium, phone (04) 473 3881.

Please allow extra time to get into town. For more information, phone us on (04) 499 4444.