Pasi­fika pride

North Is­land sec­ondary schools took to the Re­gent on Broad­way stage for the an­nual Pasi­fika Fu­sion fes­ti­val on Thurs­day. Pho­tog­ra­pher David Unwin cap­tured the ac­tion.

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - SAM KILMISTER

Sec­ondary schools from through­out the North Is­land took to the Re­gent on Broad­way stage for the an­nual Pasi­fika Fu­sion fes­ti­val.

The drums and vi­brant stage set­ting at­tracted a large crowd to the event where nine schools per­formed with the theme of lead­er­ship.

Waiopehu Col­lege trav­elled north for the 10th year in a row and Pasi­fika Dean Emma Hil­lary de­scribed Fu­sion as an im­por­tant event on the school’s cal­en­dar.

‘‘The day means ev­ery­thing to our Pasi­fika chil­dren,’’ she said.

‘‘It is the epit­ome and height of Pasi­fika cul­ture for them.’’

Hil­lary said Fu­sion gave the pupils the chance to en­gage with each other and feel like they be­longed to a com­mu­nity.

‘‘It’s not only just about the event, but also the weeks and months lead­ing up to to­day. The time they spent to­gether prac­tis- ing and the laughs they had along the way is what it’s all about.’’

Hil­lary said train­ing dur­ing the weeks lead­ing up to the event had been very fam­ily ori­ented and her role had been more of a fa­cil­i­ta­tor.

‘‘We have some won­der­ful sup­port from the stu­dents’ fam­i­lies, who tu­tor the group, so I’m lucky to be able to put my feet up and en­joy what they pro­duce.’’

Stu­dent Jane Ma­soe said Fu­sion pro­vided a fun way to ex­press them­selves and their cul­tures. ‘‘We’re just here to have a bit of fun and look back at where we’ve come from,’’ she said.

Ma­soe said they had been train­ing for three hours ev­ery week since early in term one.

Palmer­ston North Girls’ High School men­tor Elling­ton Mata­lave also said they had been train­ing ev­ery week for four months.

PHOTO: DAVID UNWIN/FAIR­FAX NZ

Palmer­ston North Girls High School stu­dents per­form at the Re­gent on Broad­way for Pasi­fika Fu­sion.

Waiopehu Col­lege has been com­ing to Pasi­fika Fu­sion for over a decade.

Sisavaii Mu­liaga, from Palmer­ston North Girls’ High School, leads a group per­for­mance.

Coleen Adarlo pre­pares be­fore her group dance.

Waiopehu Col­lege stu­dent Ve­lese Matua, right, leads his group dance.

Tekela Matakaiongo is all con­cen­tra­tion.

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