ASB Polyfest, the world’s largest Māori and Pacific Island festival, got underway today at the Manukau Sports Bowl in Auckland.
The ASB Polyfest is a celebration of youth performance and cultural diversity and will feature 220 performance groups from 60 schools over the next four days, performing speeches, kapa haka and traditional Pacific dance.
Selected performance clips will be available for viewing on the Māori Television website here.
Officially, ASB Polyfest started this morning with a special flag-raising ceremony at 7:00am. This was followed by the festival powhiri at 8:00am where the manuhiri were welcomed by the hosts Tainui & Pacific Island leaders.
The powhiri featured a haka powhiri performed by the festival’s Kura Matua Schools (hosts of the Māori Stage) – Kelston Girls College, Nga Puna O Waiorea & Te Kura Kaupapa Māori Hoani Waititi Marae, and Mayor Phil Goff was in attendance.
Following the morning’s ceremony, the Manukau Sports Bowl will come alive with Māori and Pacific Island culture, with more than 9,000 Auckland students taking to the festival’s six stages throughout the festival.
ASB Polyfest has become a key annual event for secondary school students with ASB Polyfest event director Theresa Howard saying – “It’s a great way for students to develop leadership, creativity and teamwork skills. There is nothing like it.”
ASB head of community, sponsorship and events Mark Graham is looking forward to seeing spine-tingling performances and meeting many Auckland-locals across the four-day ASB Polyfest event this week.
“With more than 9,000 student from across Aucklands taking part, ASB Polyfest 2017 will be a wonderful cultural event for people of all ages. We’re looking forward to meeting students from different Polynesian cultures and seeing the colourful and truly remarkable performances on each of the six stages,” Mr Graham says.
The first day of the ASB Polyfest 2017 sees the Te Whare Wanaga o Awanuiarangi Maori Stage host ten kapa haka groups in Division 3 from 10am – 4pm.
For all the updates and selected performance clips click here.