Rebirth of the waka nation
The 1990 celebrations at Waitangi featured a flotilla of 25 waka. This flotilla captured the attention of New Zealanders, and cemented the place of waka as a national icon. Since that time, waka have been used on several occasions to represent New Zealand in domestic and international contexts. The most recent example was the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup 2011 at Auckland, where a fleet of 20 waka held centre-stage before a global audience. Prior to that, the waka Te Hono ki Aotearoa had been a special guest at the City of London Festival in July 2011.