Polyfest fes­ti­val ex­tended

Central Leader - - NEWS -

It was a case of get­ting on with the show yes­ter­day as stu­dents con­tin­ued with the fi­nal leg of the ASB Polyfest.

The last day of the fes­ti­val, orig­i­nally sched­uled for Satur­day, was post­poned be­cause of safety con­cerns as a re­sult of Cy­clone Lusi.

It was the first time in the event’s 39-year his­tory that any part of it has had to be de­layed.

Event di­rec­tor Theresa Howard says reschedul­ing was the only op­tion.

‘‘In light of the weather con- di­tions as a re­sult of the cy­clone, the only pru­dent de­ci­sion was to post­pone our fi­nal day.

‘‘We want to give stu­dents the op­por­tu­nity to per­form on the stages and set­ting that they are fa­mil­iar with,’’ she says.

An ex­cep­tion was the di­vi­sion one Maori groups, which per­formed on Satur­day at the Trusts Sta­dium in Waitakere as stu­dents have other kapa haka com­mit­ments this week.

Fri­day, the third day of Polyfest, saw Prime Min­is­ter John Key min­gle with the crowds and per­form­ers at the Ton­gan stage.

It was the first time in at least 20 years that a sit­ting prime min­is­ter has vis­ited the event.

Mr Key says he is keen to help with spon­sor­ship for the event.

‘‘One of the things to try and en­cour­age is to have events that young people can go to and en­joy and look for­ward to,’’ he said.

‘‘I would be sur­prised if the Govern­ment can’t find some­thing [for Polyfest].’’

A to­tal of 222 groups from a record 62 schools per­formed this year.

Photo: LAWRENCE SMITH

On stage: James Wi­tana from Sa­cred Heart at Polyfest.

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