Rugby 2017 Festival programme launched

Getty Images     25 Apr 2017     Getty Images

Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry say the Rugby 2017 Festival will appeal equally to the thousands of travelling British & Irish Lions supporters and local communities across New Zealand.


“The Festival will provide a chance for communities and fans to enjoy the series which is a unique occasion to enjoy and celebrate rugby and reinforce our ability to host major events and showcase New Zealand to the world,” says Dr Coleman.

The program includes a series of rugby club ‘Legends at the Local’ events across the host cities, Matariki programmes and arts events all designed to engage fans in the days around the matches. It also includes the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Lands of Hope and Glory’ concert, a world record haka attempt before the Maori All Blacks game in Rotorua and a ‘Dunedin Sounds’ music event.

“Rugby 2017 Festival will be a nationwide celebration that showcases our culture. We want as many New Zealanders as possible to be involved in providing our own unique kiwi hospitality to international visitors,” says Ms Barry.

The DHL New Zealand Lions Series 2017 kicks off on 3 June when the British & Irish Lions meet the New Zealand Provisional Barbarians in Whangarei. They will play all five Investec Super Rugby teams, the Maori All Blacks, and three test matches against the All Blacks.

To help enhance the fan experience there will be a fan zone on Queens Wharf in Auckland to coincide with the test matches, with live match screenings, performances, exhibitions, food and beverage showcases. Some of the other host cities will also have their own fan zones.

More information on The Rugby 2017 Festival can be found at