Rotorua is set to welcome the America's Cup as it sails in on a waka for the first time.

A welcoming and reception for Emirates Team New Zealand will be held on Monday from 5pm to 7pm at Te Papaiouru Marae to celebrate them winning the Auld Mug back in June.

Bruce Davy, club captain of the Rotorua Yacht Club and member of the event's committee, said it was an exciting opportunity to be a part of the celebrations.

"I'm ecstatic because It's a once in a lifetime experience for the Rotorua public to see the cup and celebrate," Mr Davy said. "We've only had three weeks to plan so it's crept up pretty quickly but it should work out great on the day."


Emirates Team New Zealand approached the Rotorua Yacht Club about hosting a reception but Mr Davy felt the club could not host an event like this on its own.

"We're used to hosting regattas, not public events so we reached out to Te Papaiouru Marae and Ngati Whakaue to help and make it a unique cultural event."

Ngati Whakaue kaumatua Monty Morrison and other Te Arawa dignitaries will welcome the Cup and its party.

Emirates Team New Zealand is expected to arrive on the shore in front of Tunohopu Marae at Ohinemutu about 5pm, when the team would be greeted with a formal pohiri.

The pohiri will be followed by speeches, from mayor Steve Chadwick and members of Team Emirates and the public will get the chance to ask questions and take photographs with the Cup.

There will be at least two members of the Team New Zealand crew at the event but it is not confirmed who they will be.

Despite wet weather forecast for Monday, Mr Morrison doubted it would stop the event from going ahead.

"The welcoming will take place as planned, but the question will be if we have the speeches outside afterwards depending on the rain."

Mr Morrison is also confident that crowds will show up, no matter the forecast.

"My expectations is that this is another wonderful opportunity to celebrate the America's Cup win and families as well as those who love sport will be out in force."

Rotorua's America's Cup Visit
When: Monday 5pm to 7pm
Where: Starting on shore in front of Tunohopu Marae making its way up to Te Papaiouru Marae
Best public viewing points wil be between St Faith's Church and the shore
Public photo opportunities with the cup at the end