Windy City of Wellington showcases history and green credentials

Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara, was the third FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ host city in New Zealand to be visited by a FIFA delegation meeting stakeholders in the two co-host countries. Wellington Stadium was the first stop on the itinerary for the group, comprised of FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, Joanna Wood President Football New Zealand, FIFA Council member and OFC Council member, Dave Beeche CEO of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand, Rhiannon Martin Head of FIFA Women’s World Cup Project 2023 and Jane Patterson Chief Operating Officer for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in New Zealand.

Host of seven group matches of the tournament, one round of 16 match and one quarter-final, the 39,000 capacity stadium has a proud history of hosting a range of top-quality sports events, including the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup and FIFA World Cup qualifiers in 2007, 2009, 2013, 2017. Guided by CEO of Wellington Stadium Shane Harmon, the group examined the turf area, covering a total of 15050m2 and consisting of two varieties of perennial Ryegrass (Lolium Perenne). The venue is committed to developing ways to reduce, recover, recycle, or re-use waste in all aspects of its business and in recent years it has reduced its waste-to-landfill to less than 20 per cent. It will install new LED tower lights before the FIFA Women’s World Cup, further reducing emissions. Additional sustainability areas being explored are solar power and harvesting rainwater.

Wellington Stadium

Te Uruhau, the main entrance design, was created by Te Oranga Whareaitu (creative/designer) on behalf of the Wellington Tenths Trust. The Wellington Tenths Trust represents the descendants of Taranaki whānui who were owners of Wellington and the Hutt Valley in 1840. Additionally, the stadium recently updated all wayfinding and introduced bilingual signage in English and Te Reo Māori throughout the venue. The initiative was a collaboration between the Stadium and Te Taura Whiri, the Māori Language Commission. A meeting with the Mayor Wellington City Council, Andy Foster and Deputy Mayor, Sarah Fee followed. Talks covered FIFA’s vision to make football truly global, the reforms the organisation has made since 2016 and the tremendous potential of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, as well as the levels of excitement in Wellington in the build up to the tournament next year.

Speaking following the meeting Fatma Samoura said: “Our talks today with Mayor Foster and Deputy Mayor Fee gave us a chance to hear about the support that Wellington City Council will offer in terms of promoting the FIFA Women’s World Cup, in an inclusive, diverse and creative way. We look forward to seeing how New Zealand’s capital will harness the history, innovation and spirit of Wellingtonians to provide football fans and teams with an unforgettable experience in the Windy City.” Meetings then took place between the delegation and New Zealand Football’s Vice President Gary Carnachan, Executive Committee Members Richard Kerr-Bell and Rakesh Naidoo, Capital Football’s Chair and FIFA Women’s Leadership Programme participant Helen Mallon, Deputy Chair Sola Freeman and Wellington Phoenix’s General Manager Dave Dome. The importance of integrating the immigrant and refugee community, as well as indigenous people, in and around the social and cultural programme the city of Wellington will put in place for the FIFA Women’s World Cup was discussed. The ability of football to cross boundaries and bring people together was also highlighted, along with the competition’s potential to empower and inspire women and girls from a cross section of cultures.

Wellington - Destination image 2023 FIFAWWC