Auckland Mayor, Phil Goff has received a specially commissioned Mäori Taiaha match day trophy which will be presented to the winner of the British & Irish Lions and Blues match to be played on 7 June.
With 120 days to go to the second match of the DHL New Zealand Lions Series 2017, New Zealand Rugby Vice President, Maurice Trapp presented the Taiaha, named Te Raki to note the geographical locaton denoting ‘North’ to Mayor Goff at a ceremony in Auckland.
The taiaha, a traditional Maori weapon, is at the heart of the design of the DHL NZ Lions Series.
As part of the Series, New Zealand Rugby commissioned the carving of seven Mäori Taiaha for presentation to the winning team in each of the seven games leading up to the All Blacks Tests.
Te Raki was given into the guardianship of the Auckland City Council at a special ceremony in Auckland on Friday. In the leadup to the tournament later this year, Te Raki will be displayed at various events and locations throughout the city.
Mayor Goff said the British & Irish Lions tour was a very special event which Aucklanders and New Zealanders would be anticipating with great excitement.
“Lions tours are incredible. Steeped in tradition, thrilling and passionate, we remember well the events of 2005 and are excited about the rugby and the atmosphere that this year’s tour will deliver in New Zealand.
“Auckland comes alive for Lions tour and it’s going to make for an incredible few weeks in our city later this year when we host three matches,” said Mayor Goff.
Maurice Trapp said that Taiaha presented an extra special challenge to the match against the Blues.
“This is the first time in the history of the Lions Series that all teams will be vying for a trophy. The challenge to keep the trophy in Auckland will be a big one”.