Over 9,000 students to participate in ASB Polyfest 2016

ASB Polyfest starts this Wednesday, celebrating 41 years since its inception.

In its first year ASB Polyfest had four schools participating. It has now become the largest Māori and Pacific Island festival in the world.

Over 9,000 students will be participating this year, and will see 228 groups from 64 Auckland schools take the stages to perform.

Polyfest is recognised as a platform to showcase New Zealand’s diverse cultures.

The Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown says, “If anything spells out the essence of Auckland, it is the ASB Polyfest.”

When questioned on the recipe for a successful ASB Polyfest, Event Director Theresa Howard says, “exceptional cultural performances and great food.”

Traditional island food will be aplenty during this week’s four day festival, while more than 228 groups compete for the honour of being named best performing group.

ASB Polyfest begins Wednesday 16 March with a special flag-raising ceremony at 7:00am, followed by a pōwhiri at 8:00am. 

The pōwhiri sees the festival guests (manuhiri) welcomed by the hosts (Tainui & Pacific Island leaders), and a mass haka performed by the festival’s Kura Matua School (host of the Māori Stage) - Western Springs College.

Following the official proceedings in the morning, the Manukau Sports Bowl will come alive with Māori and Pacific Island colour and culture. The Te Whare Wānaga o Awanuiarangi Māori Stage gets underway at 10am on Wednesday.

Each stage has a surrounding village with the food and craft stalls from the respective culture.

Entry is $5. Preschool children can attend free of charge.

For more information check out the ASB Polyfest website.