The America's Cup is due to arrive in Edgecumbe and is expected to boost morale in the small town, which was impacted by devastating flooding in April. Follow here for live updates.
2.00pm - Edgecumbe tour wraps up
1.23pm - Kids take the lead
The kids are now in control, dominating question time. They’ve asked everything from how it felt when the boat fell over (which got a lot of chuckles) to how did they like winning the cup.
1.14pm - Speakers
Whakatane deputy mayor Judy Turner has spoken, saying the team probably don’t understand how much their visit means to the town.
Eastern Bay Chamber of Commerce CEO Gerard Casey has also given the team honourary awards, making them ‘champbassadors’ of the Eastern Bay.
12.56pm - America's Cup presented at town hall
Gasps from the hundreds of people who have arrived at the Edgecumbe town hall as the America’s Cup was brought out of its case. Children in attendance were impressed at how shiny the Auld Mug was, and all want the chance touch it.
12.24pm - Team New Zealand touring the red zone area
Team New Zealand is touring the red zone area across from the stopbank which breached on April 6th. They followed a tractor to the site, the same tractor which first began rescuing people when the flood wall broke.
12.10pm - America’s Cup “hopefully proved a wee distraction" from stress of floods
Team New Zealand cyclist, Guy Endean, says it felt right to come to Edgecumbe to try to boost their spirits. He says the America’s Cup race hopefully proved a wee distraction from the stress of the floods, and he’s glad the cup is here for locals to enjoy.
11.53am - Team New Zealand arrives
Team New Zealand says it’s humbling that Edgecumbe is still supporting the cup, despite the challenges they have faced. They say today is all about showing locals they’re conscious of their plight and are behind them.
11.12am - Delayed arrival due to crash
Team New Zealand's arrival is delayed due to a minor crash right in front of the team on Tauranga Eastern Link.
11am - America's Cup set to arrive
The America's Cup is arriving in Edgecumbe this hour, with rain not dampening the spirits of locals.
Six Team New Zealand representatives are also in tow, and will brave the weather to tour the flood-stricken town.
Members of the public are being urged to head to the Edgecumbe town hall, where there will be speeches and the chance to view the Cup in person.
The tour has been touted as a way to bring the community together and boost morale, which local pharmacy manager Sue Moores says is greatly needed.
She had to move her shop to the neighbouring town of Te Teko when the flood hit, after the original location in Riverslea Mall was destroyed.
She says it could be March 2018 before they are allowed back in their original shop, adding that the damage was beyond devastating.
Only about 35 of the 309 homes needing repair work have been touched, with Whakatane Mayor Tony Bonne earlier admitting he was ambitious in thinking most people would be back in their homes by Christmas.