30 Oct 2014

NZ theme park ditched for golf course

6:57 am on 30 October 2014

An Auckland marae which was going to be part of multimillion-dollar plans for a New Zealand theme park in China has been told the project has been dropped.

Awataha Marae on Auckland's North Shore said it was going to supplying carvings, taonga and performers for the Maori cultural village at the 25-square-kilometre park in Qufu in north-eastern Shandong province.

When it was first announced in 2009, the project was said to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars and expected to create hundreds of jobs for New Zealanders.

But in 2010, there were reports of delays due to difficulties in pulling together project components, poor weather and flooding.

Awataha Marae chief executive Anthony Wilson said he had still not not been given a satisfactory explanation as to why it was dumped.

Mr Wilson said he was told that the project leaders wanted to take it in a new direction by putting in a golf course and hotel.