Polyfest set to break records

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By TAO LIN

The count­down is on for thou­sands of stu­dents around Auck­land in the lead-up to this year’s ASB Polyfest.

Now in its 39th year, the world’s largest Maori and Pa­cific Is­land fes­ti­val was of­fi­cially launched last week at ASB’s head of­fice in Auck­land.

More than 9000 stu­dents from a record 62 schools are ex­pected to per­form over four days at the Manukau Sports Bowl – a huge growth from the in­au­gu­ral fes­ti­val in 1976, when just four schools took part.

It will be the sec­ond Polyfest or­gan­ised by event di­rec­tor Theresa Howard, who per­formed at the event in 2001.

The for­mer St Do­minic’s Col­lege stu­dent says the fes­ti­val teaches stu­dents a lot more than just per- for­mance skills. ‘‘ To learn of lead­er­ship, re­spect, dis­ci­pline, hard work and whanau, a lead-up to an event like the ASB Polyfest can re­ally shape an in­di­vid­ual into a pos­i­tive role model,’’ Ms Howard says.

She takes the most pride in see­ing stu­dent per­for­mances come to­gether af­ter months of prepa­ra­tion and also see­ing Polyfest grow.

‘‘I once took the stage in this event and to see how far it’s come, that’s the most re­ward­ing part of it,’’ she says.

ASB head

of com­mu­nity and spon­sor­ship Mark Gra­ham says the bank is pleased to sup­port Polyfest.

‘‘We’re a bank that ser­vices the whole of the pop­u­la­tion so it’s im­por­tant for us to demon­strate sup­port of the com­mu­nity through events like the Polyfest.

‘‘We have been sup­port­ing this unique fes­ti­val since 1985 and are proud to be part of cel­e­brat­ing Auck­land’s cul­tural iden­tity and her­itage along­side so many di­verse Kiwi cul­tures,’’ he says.

Go to auck­land city­har­bournews.co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to see a video of the launch event.

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