MAORI WAR CANOE CRUISES LONDON’S THAMES

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England hosts first celebration of Pacific cultures

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 1, 2011) – The cultures of New Zealand and the Pacific Islands are for the first time the focus of the City of London festival in Britain.

The first event involves a Maori ceremonial war canoe paddling up the River Thames from Tower Pier to Blackfriars in the heart of the capital.

Organisers say it’s a hundred years to the day, since the first waka went up the river.

In July 1911 Maggie Papakura led a concert troupe to the Henley rowing regatta.

The New Zealand group Toi Maori will crew the waka along with the London Maori Cultural Group Ngati Ranana.

Three weeks of events in London highlight the cultures of the Pacific Islands, with art, drama and music.

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