Women's Rugby World Cup 2021

Victory for the Black Ferns as Auckland set to host 2021 Women's Rugby World Cup.

2021 will see Auckland and Whangarei co-host the 9th Women's Rugby World Cup (WRWC) – which will be the first time the sporting event has been held in the Southern Hemisphere.

New Zealand's bid for hosting the cup trumped rivalry neighbour Australia's, scoring 25 votes to 17. The 2021 tournament received a record of hosting interest with six unions formally expressing interest.

The bid was supported by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed), on behalf of Auckland Council and alongside New Zealand Rugby (NZR), the Government and Whangarei District Council. It was presented by NZR board member and ex-Black Fern Farah Palmer, ex-All Black star and fellow NZR board member Mark Robinson, NZR chief executive Steve Tew and a video from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.


Since the tournament began in 1991, New Zealand's Black Ferns team has been victorious in five of the eight world cups (the US took victory in 1991, the event's first year) and England (in 1994 and 2014). The event is held every four years but was brought forward a year in 2017 to avoid conflicting with the Olympics. The 2021 matches will be held at Waitakere Stadium and Northland Events Centre, Albany Stadium and the semi-finals and final will be held at Auckland's Eden Park.

There will be significant changes to the 2021 event, which will see it extended from 23 to 35 days, the addition of quarter-finals, the promotion of player welfare, and an increase in squads from 28 to 30 players, reflecting World Rugby's commitment to accelerating the development of the women's game.

America's Cup competition 2021

The City of Sails will host yachting's biggest event, the 36th America's Cup in March 2021.

The racing area is set out across the wider Hauraki Gulf; running past the North Shore beaches, around North Head and the inner Waitemata harbour, up to the harbour bridge and downtown CBD, across Auckland's Eastern suburbs and out to the Tamaki Strait between Waiheke Island and Maraetai.

In a best of 13 — or first to seven points — the defending Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron team Emirates Team New Zealand will race the winner of the Prada Cup, the Challenger Selection Series Circolo della Vela Sicilia, who will be represented by their team Luna Rossa Challenge.

The Italian director and skipper Max Sirena said of the city's hosting: "Having the race course so close to the coast will give spectators the opportunity to follow the racing even from the shore with the spectacular backdrop of Auckland."

The event is expected to raise from $600m to $1 billion for New Zealand's economy with an expected 20,000 to 40,000 spectators each day.

It is expected the race will also entice better waterfront infrastructure, grow global tourism interest, forge new business links across the country and the world, enhance local pride and build on the already strong volunteer network for future events.

Mana Whenua, America's Cup Events Ltd (a subsidiary of Emirates Team New Zealand established to run the event), the Auckland Council Group, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and a number of Crown agencies and other partners will work together to prepare and manage all aspects of the event which also encompasses a series of other events in the run up to the Cup.

 The City of Sails will host yachting's biggest event, the 36th America's Cup in March 2021. Photo / Mark Mitchell
The City of Sails will host yachting's biggest event, the 36th America's Cup in March 2021. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Apec Leaders' Meeting 2021

The annual Apec Meeting is to be held in New Zealand for the first time in 22 years.

The 2021 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Leaders' Meeting will be the largest event ever hosted by the Government in New Zealand's history.

Welcoming leaders, ministers, senior officials, business leaders and media from the group's 21 economies, there will be 12 events held throughout the year in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, culminating in the pinnacle Apec Leaders' Week in Auckland where 10,000 delegates are expected to descend into the city across the week alongside a further 3000 media representatives.

The Leaders' Week will be held from 8-14 August 2021 and aims to promote its economic interests with trading nations including the United States, Japan and China.

This will be the first year that New Zealand has hosted the annual Cooperation meeting since 1999 when Prime Minister Jenny Shipley led the New Zealand Government, and then-US President Bill Clinton came ashore to attend the event.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said of the next New Zealand-hosted Apec meeting: "We last hosted Apec in 1999 but this time it will be much bigger.

"We will be looking to work with central Government to bring forward to the extent possible, any infrastructure projects that will help Auckland deal effectively with Apec and the America's Cup."

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 71 per cent of New Zealand's two-way trade — exports and imports of goods and services — is with Apec economies.

Apec economies will account for 61 per cent of global GDP by 2021.

Other events hosted by Auckland in 2021

Women's Cricket World Cup

The 12th edition of the ICC Women's World Cup is to be held in the city in November, making it a great year not only for Auckland, but for women in sport.

New Zealand became the automatic host qualifiers for the tournament which will see the White Ferns play to a home crowd.

The cup is competed for every four years.

Men's Softball World Cup

Men's Softball World Cup will be held at North Harbour's Rosedale Park stadium in Albany in July.

Chief executive of Softball New Zealand Tony Giles said of the event coming back to New Zealand: "A lot of hard work has gone into preparing the bid and this outcome is testament to the support the organisation has received from both central and local government agencies in collaboration with North Harbour Softball Association in bringing the pinnacle of the men's world game back to our shores."

The cup was last hosted in New Zealand in 2013, and had previously been hosted in 1976 and 2004.

Te Matatini Festival

Held every two years, the Te Matatini Festival also falls in the mammoth year of events in Auckland.

Started in 1972, the festival was last held in Auckland in 2002.

The national Māori performing arts festival sees kapa haka performers from all over the country compete to be crowned Toa Whakaihuwaka (the overall winner) and usually draws around 30,000 participants and spectators.