Today is the first day of the 41st ASB Polyfest.
The event kicked off at 7:00am with a special flag raising ceremony and powhiri at the Manukau Sports Bowl.
The pōwhiri saw 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.
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.
Below is the program for day 1 of Polyfest 2016:
Here are the whakaeke of the groups who took the Māori stage today.
Takapuna Grammar School
St Cuthberts College
Howick / Edgewater / Pakuranga Colleges
One Tree Hill College
Each stage has a surrounding village with the food and craft stalls from the respective cultures.
Entry is $5. Preschool children can attend free of charge.
For more information check out the ASB Polyfest website.