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World Expo 2010 Shanghai China >> Participation >> Latest News

New Zealand Pavilion to highlight Maori culture

New Zealand Pavilion to highlight Maori culture

scene of the signing ceremony

New Zealand Pavilion to highlight Maori culture

Hong Hao (right), Hong Hao, director of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, shakes hands with Phillip Gibson, New Zealand's commissioner general for the Expo.

New Zealand Pavilion

artist's impression of the New Zealand Pavilion

The New Zealand Pavilion in World Expo Shanghai 2010 will showcase the balance between city and nature by presenting Maori culture, Phillip Gibson, the country's commissioner general for the Expo, said today as it inked a participation contract with organizers.

The New Zealand Pavilion, themed "Cities of Nature: Living between Land and Sky," will be located on a 2,000-square-meter land in Pudong side of the Expo site.

The pavilion exhibition will tell a modern variation of the Maori story of how humans were created, in which forests and people are not seen as separate, but as different aspects of the same creative spirit.

The "Kapa Haka" groups, indigenous New Zealand Maori dancing groups, will perform daily in the pavilion, Gibson said.

"New Zealand has plenty to bring to the Shanghai 2010 theme of Better City, Better Life," said Gibson. "Although New Zealand has a small population of almost 4.3 million, it is highly urbanized with some 86 percent of people living in cities or towns."

New Zealand will invest nearly 30 million New Zealand dollars (US$23.05 million) at Shanghai 2010, the largest investment in World Expo ever.

The New Zealand government has spent nearly US$10 million in the 2005 Aichi World Expo, said Gibson. The New Zealand Pavilion received more than 4 million visitors among the total 22 million visitors to Aichi Expo.

New Zealand chose a joint team to create its pavilion at World Expo Shanghai 2010. The team consists of a leading architectural firm, award-winning exhibition and garden designers and a leading international project management company.

Most members of the joint team were also involved in creating the successful New Zealand pavilion at the 2006 World Expo in Aichi, Japan.

"New Zealanders usually don't think of themselves as urban people," said Chris Bicknell of Coffey Projects, who will lead the team that will create and direct the building of the pavilion. "But in fact 86 percent of us live in towns and cities and our major cities rate very highly in world surveys of 'livability.' We will be showcasing both our lifestyle and the innovative side of New Zealand urban life in the pavilion."

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