Topic: Pacific Affairs

Good vibes and good times at 25th Pasifika Festival

updated By Talisa Kupenga

There were no reports of violence at this year's Pasifika Festival in the wake of brawls near Polyfest that dominated headlines last week. It was good vibes and good times for families, with Police and security on-hand to watch over attendees.

More than 40,000 spectators were on their best behaviour to keep culture and community at the heart of Pasifika.

Spectator Breigh Williams says "It's a family event people shouldn't be fighting here.”

Pasifika Show Director Blair Jagusch says his team plans carefully to ensure Pasifika runs smoothly.

"Our security team work very closely with ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) and the New Zealand Police. We have hot-briefs every couple of hours or every hour depending on what frequency we need and we’re always in communication to make sure it's a safe place for everyone."

Spectators relished in the atmosphere and enjoyed the entertainment.

One spectator told Te Kāea "It's a beautiful place to come to and enjoy the cultures and the food and the people I love it!"

Aketekura Adams said "It doesn't matter where you come from it's about the unity of all of us Polynesian people"

Miss Cook Islands and performer Felicia George said the music touched people’s hearts.

"Hearing the Cook Islands drums and the Cook Islands beats that's real pride for me to hear."

Dancers showcased their Pacific pride and brought through next generation's talent.

Six-year-old Kemarah Samson said she wanted the crowd to be proud of her first on-stage performance.

"We like to dance because we want to make our show really awesome.”

But while the festival has been going strong for 25 years now, Samoan four-piece Evolve had their group's debut.

Group member Dinah Vaiaoga-Ioasa says "we took the challenge up because we wanted to share something that we are passionate about with the rest of our people.”

It was a good weekend had by all and spectators were already counting down to next year's festival.