Pasi­fika venue re­viewed

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS LEE and JAMES IRE­LAND

THE Pasi­fika Fes­ti­val may head to South or West Auck­land in the fu­ture.

Otara-Pa­p­a­toe­toe Lo­cal Board chair­man Efeso Collins is lead­ing talks with Pa­cific stake­hold­ers about the fes­ti­val’s di­rec­tion and is push­ing for it to move away from its tra­di­tional home at West­ern Springs.

The dis­cov­ery of the Queens­land fruit fly in Grey Lynn forced a last-minute venue change for this year’s fes­ti­val to Hay­man Park in Manukau.

Collins would now like to see South Auck­land host the fes­ti­val per­ma­nently.

‘‘Es­sen­tially what [the meet­ings] will look at is whether the com­mu­nity feel like we’re cre­at­ing an au­then­tic Pasi­fika ex­pe­ri­ence through this fes­ti­val,’’ he says.

‘‘This is the plat­form for a very wide com­mu­nity re­view or dis­cus­sion of how to take this fes­ti­val for­ward and I think key to this is us say­ing: ‘ What will the fes­ti­val look like in the next 20 years?’’’

Plans are al­ready in place to take Pasi­fika back to West­ern Springs next year, Auck­land Coun­cil events or­gan­i­sa­tion ATEED’s Steve Ar­mitage says.

‘‘This is de­pen­dent on the sta­tus of the fruit fly ex­clu­sion zone which is still in ef­fect in the area sur­round­ing West­ern Springs Park,’’ he says.

Ar­mitage says feed­back from stake­hold­ers, stall­hold­ers and at­ten­dees is al­ways taken into con­sid­er­a­tion dur­ing the plan­ning for its events and will be for Pasi­fika Fes­ti­val 2016.

The Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board is keen to see the fes­ti­val re­turn to West­ern Springs, chair­man Shale Cham­bers says.

‘‘Its orig­i­nal and tra­di­tional home is West­ern Springs and it went to Manukau on a tem­po­rary ba­sis due to the Queens­land fruit fly is­sue but as far as we’re con­cerned that’s where it starts and stops,’’ he says.

‘‘It was set up by Auck­land City Coun­cil not Manukau City Coun­cil and we’re very keen as a lo­cal board, as we un­der­stand is the in­ten­tion, for it to re­turn.’’

Cham­bers says West­ern Springs’ cen­tral lo­ca­tion makes the event more ac­ces­si­ble to all Auck­lan­ders.

‘‘I un­der­stand why [the Otara-Pa­p­a­toe­toe Lo­cal Board] would want that re­viewed but, to me, there is a dan­ger in say­ing that be­cause it’s a Pasi­fika fes­ti­val it should be lo­cated in South Auck­land,’’ he says.

‘‘Cer­tainly that’s a rea­son but if all of Auck­land is go­ing to ac­cess it then cen­tral ob­vi­ously has greater ac­ces­si­bil­ity.

‘‘The event has gone from strength to strength in its cur­rent lo­ca­tion and didn’t need to be lo­cated in Manukau in the past to be suc­cess­ful.’’

Collins says there will be two or three meet­ings with Pa­cific stake­hold­ers to feed into ATEED’s an­nual re­view of the fes­ti­val.

‘‘One of the key pieces of feed­back is it’s opened the door for peo­ple in West Auck­land to say: ‘Ac­tu­ally we’d like to see it out West’,’’ he says. ‘‘So one of the things that’s be­ing mooted now is, can it travel?

‘‘Is there a way we can get it mov­ing around?’’

Drum Pro­duc­tions owner Stan Wolf­gramm was hired by ATEED to pro­duce Pasi­fika in 2013 and 2014.

But this year the or­gan­i­sa­tion put the event man­age­ment out for public ten­der, Wolf­gramm says.

‘‘We fin­ished our con­tract and we wanted to know what the strat­egy was for the event’s fu­ture. The next thing we heard was a re­quest for the pro­posal go­ing public.’’

He de­cided against putting in a pro­posal, say­ing the out­sourc­ing and the lack of a strat­egy put him off.

‘‘When I got brought in, the event was los­ing its iden­tity. I was brought in to bring it back and make it more rel­e­vant. I think I achieved that.’’

Dancers en­ter­tain the crowds in the Tu­valu Vil­lage dur­ing Pasi­fika Fes­ti­val held at West­ern Springs in 2014.

Otara-Pa­p­a­toe­toe Lo­cal Board chair­man Efeso Collins.

Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board chair­man Shale Cham­bers.

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