Pasifika Festival grows
More than 20 schools will line up and take part in the 4th Annual Pasifika Festival held in Tauranga this month.
Now into its fourth year, Pasifika Festival in the Bay, is a vibrant celebration of the unique cultures of the Pacific Islands through dance and food with a focus on the younger generation. This year the festival is hosted by Greerton Village School with school performance groups ranging across the Bay of Plenty from Katikati to Te Puke.
Cultural performance groups from schools around the Bay will be practising hard ahead of the big day that will see 20-plus groups take the outdoor stage in vibrant traditional costumes, representing nations from all over the Pacific including Tonga, Samoa, Niue, Kiribati, Cook Islands, Fiji and more.
Alongside performances will be market style stalls packed with authentic foods from the islands to tempt the taste buds. Previous years’ crowds have reached the thousands and organisers believe this year will be bigger than ever.
Pasifika in the Bay began four years ago when a small group of Pasifika teachers within the Bay of Plenty area connected with the vision to raise Pasifika achievement within the school system by giving students a platform to showcase their culture.
“The chance for these students to stand on the big stage and represent their heritage in front of teachers, peers, family and the wider community is hugely valuable,” says founding member Mike Douglas.
Holding the festival within a school is a great way for the Pasifika students and families to strengthen relationships with the school and its wider community.
The committee behind the festival has grown over the years, along with the size of the event but the vision behind it to promote Pasifika culture within the Bay, remains the same.
Te Puke Primary School at the Annual Pasifika Festival last year.