Did you know that Auckland has the biggest Polynesian population of any city in the world? About this time of year, it becomes very apparent as folks tidy up grass skirts, tie on colourful lava lavas, cook up some Pacific food and head over to the Pasifika Festival. The festival is one of the largest on the Auckland calendar and attracts not only Pacific Islanders, but also other locals as well as tourists. It’s a good way to really start to understand how much of our culture here in New Zealand is due to our place as a Pacific Island nation.
Just walking round soaking up the atmosphere is enough for anyone, but be sure to try some food. The entire park is divided into Pacific island nations so, you can get a feel for what people eat in each place as well as watch some local entertainment. Because of this fact, it is good to bring a mat, towel or picnic blanket to sit on so you can eat and enjoy the tunes…or shimmying hips. The festival is free if only a little difficult to get to. It’s best to either take a bus or drive to the UNITEC car park where you can catch the free bus as parking near the venue is all but impossible.
Special guests, Mana Maoli Collective from Hawaii
Weavers, carvers and other artists
Taro and/or corned beef in all their glory
Dance, dance and more dance!
Date: Saturday, 12 March
Venue: Western Springs Park
Cost: Absolutely free!
Photo credit: Crowd by wonderferret on flickr