The New Zealand Masters Games has kicked off in Whanganui.

4400 athletes from 15 countries gathered at Cooks Gardens, representing over 50 different sports.

"We are all here celebrating the 28th anniversary of the New Zealand Masters Games, and then have a pƍwhiri from one of the local Maori groups," says Scott Bowater, Sport Coordinator Liasion.

"Following the opening ceremony, we follow our mayor Hamish McDoull all the way to our new village which is now hosted at the War Memorial Centre. We are really excited to have the games village there this year and we hope everyone has a great time there," says Mr Bowater.

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"The people as normal are fantastic, and the volunteers are wonderful. We are getting the whole city involved with the Masters Games. It's not just masters here it's all the locals as well," says Mark Stoneman, Masters Games Trust chairman.

With low flying jets from Ohakea, blue skies, and a carnival-like street parade, Whanganui's opening ceremony had it all.

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