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"First, New Zealand won the America's Cup. Now, it's getting another American tradition -- a college football bowl game," according to Steve Schoenfeld in this morning's ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The Haka Bowl, to be played in Auckland, New Zealand, has been given certification by the NCAA and is seeking a Pac-10 team for its inaugural game on New Year's Eve '96. Pac-10 spokesperson Dean Diltz confirmed that the conference has had "informal discussions" with the new bowl, but WAC officials have also discussed a Haka tie-in. For 1995, the Pac-10 has tie-ins with three bowls -- Rose, Sun and Aloha -- plus the bowl alliance. But a Pac-10 source said the Sun Bowl could be out in '96. Arizona AD Jim Livengood, on the Haka Bowl: "I think it has a chance to be a great bowl game. The (New Zealand) Department of Tourism is behind it, and the bowl officials there have really done their homework. ... The whole country has gotten involved." Former USC linebacker Rikki Ellision, a New Zealand native, is running the bowl. Ellison, from the Haka Bowl's L.A. office, called the Pac-10 and the WAC "the two major links" for New Zealand's desire to penetrate the western U.S. The Haka Bowl plans to pay each team $1.5M, putting it in the top eight of bowl payouts (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 5/24).