ANZ’s Five Finalists vie to Welcome the World to Rugby World Cup 2011

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From over 6,000 entries received in the ANZ Welcome the World promotion, five finalists have been chosen to battle it out with each other for three weeks for a chance to win $25,000 and four tickets to the Rugby World Cup 2011 Final at Auckland’s Eden Park on October 23.

ANZ, Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2011

ANZ, Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2011

ANZ is committed to making the Tournament a success, and we’re really looking forward to seeing the winner’s idea come to life.

From over 6,000 entries received in the ANZ Welcome the World promotion, five finalists have been chosen to battle it out with each other for three weeks for a chance to win $25,000 and four tickets to the Rugby World Cup 2011 Final at Auckland’s Eden Park on October 23.

ANZ’s Welcome the World promotion asked New Zealanders to tell us how they would welcome the 85,000 expected visitors to the country for the upcoming RWC 2011. The winner would see their idea come to life.

Over 6,000 entries were received, and the five finalists have been chosen. Each finalist will spend the next three weeks promoting their idea via social networking sites and publicity to solicit public votes. The number of votes gained will help the judges determine the final winner.

The finalists are Palmerston North’s Rangi Williams, Cassandra Aster from Auckland, Aeronwy Cording from Christchurch, Auckland’s Pulusea Seumanu and Nigel Keats from Wellington.

“We were blown away by the creativity of all the 6,000 entries and the sheer number of them. The ideas were amazing – a lot for them were fun, imaginative and out there and even if they didn’t make it into the final five, every entry goes into a draw to win two RWC 2011 semi-final, quarter-final or Bronze Final tickets,” says Kerri Thompson, ANZ Managing Director, Retail.

“We loved the ideas of the five finalists because they involved people from around the country and as a Worldwide Partner of RWC 2011 and the Official Bank of the Tournament, ANZ wants to get as many people as possible involved in welcoming the world to New Zealand.”

The finalists’ ideas are: a human animation of thousands of Kiwis creating a welcome message the length of a rugby field using light, colour and movement; video kiosks around the country recording personal welcomes; murals made up of handprints in the shape of a silver fern; spelling out ‘Haere Mai’ with giant jigsaw pieces which would fit together online; and a huge artwork developed by community around New Zealand.

As well as tickets to the Finals, plus flights and accommodation, the winner will receive $25,000 in cash. “Most of the finalists have remarked that they’re really excited at the prospect of winning Finals tickets” says Ms Thompson.

Public votes close on June 21 after the three weeks of gathering votes. “Our finalists can use their social media networks to get as many votes as they can, but they’re not limited to just that, so it should be quite interesting to see how creative the finalists get, particularly with four tickets to the RWC 2011 Final up for grabs.

“ANZ is committed to making the Tournament a success, and we’re really looking forward to seeing the winner’s idea come to life,” said Ms Thompson.

For more information and to access the finalists’ Facebook pages go to http://www.welcometheworld.co.nz. Public votes close on June 21. The judges are ANZ New Zealand Chief Executive Officer David Hisco, leading event producer Ant Hampel and brand guru Steve Kane. The winner will be announced in June.

The Finalists’ entries:

Cassandra Aster, Auckland

American-born Cassandra Aster wanted to help connect individual Kiwis with our international visitors, so she came up with the idea of using mobile video kiosks to record personal greetings. The best 100 would then be used to create an amazing montage.

She says, “Kiwis are known throughout the world for their kindness, and opening their homes and hearts. I also wanted something that runs throughout the whole of Rugby World Cup 2011, instead of doing one big thing at the beginning that some people might miss.”

Aeronwy Cording, Christchurch

High school teacher Aeronwy Cording had the idea of creating a set of unique murals which use thousands of handprints from Kiwi schoolkids to make up the shape of a silver fern. Visitors would be greeted by the handprint murals on billboards at every international gateway and other sites throughout New Zealand.

Aeronwy says she came up with the idea “in the shower, where I do all my best thinking.” She’s a proud New Zealander, and she says that being part of this project would be “the experience of a lifetime.”

Nigel Keats, Wellington

Nigel says he “woke up one night and the idea was in my head.” Nigel wanted to find a way of creating something big that involved people from different communities all over New Zealand. His idea the world’s Biggest Harae Mai would link thousands of people in a spectacular one-off event, using the power of the Internet to bring all their efforts together.

Pulusea Seumanu, Auckland

Pulusea was inspired by the idea of bringing together a crowd of several thousand volunteers to create a 30-second welcome message that’s the length of a rugby field. He calls it “human animation.”

In his day job, Pulusea is a Head Teacher for the Auckland Kindergarten Association, and he was fascinated by the thought of enlisting everyone from school children to sports clubs. He says, “I just love how we can involve everyone in the crowd, and how we can make our country and those visiting proud of something extra they were involved in.”

Rangi Williams, Palmerston North

Rangi’s background as a graphic design lecturer led him to think of an idea that uses art and UV paint to bring communities together. He’d invite New Zealanders to fill 20 giant canvases that could be brought together for the grand unveiling at a major venue. “Not only does it beautify the community, but it would help join people in a common cause. Colour is interactive, so many people can enjoy adding their own inspiration.

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