Pasifika to return to Auckland's Western Springs

By Harata Brown
  • Auckland

One of the largest Pacific Island festivals is set to return back to its spiritual home.

The Pasifika Festival, an annual weekend event, will kick off at Auckland's Westerns Springs on Saturday.   In 2015, the festival had to move to South Auckland because of the Queensland fruit fly scare. 

Pacific Peoples Minister Peseta Sam Lotuiga is happy Pasifika is returning home. It's an event he believes celebrates Pacific cultures.

"Pasifika is a celebration of New Zealand’s vibrant Pacific cultures. It is an increasingly popular event that all Aucklanders can look forward to. New Zealand is a Pacific nation and our Pacific people have had a major influence on our nation’s culture, heritage and ethnic make-up,” says Lotuiga.

The event showcases 11 Pacific Island villages, each with their own distinctive atmosphere.

In 2014, Pasifika attracted 80,000 people and the Minister believes the event is an opportunity for people to donate money for those affected by Cyclone Winston. 

“New Zealanders have already shown overwhelming generosity but more help is needed to help our Pacific neighbours,” says Lotuiga. 

Pasifika is managed by Orange Productions. General Manager Blair Jagusch says there will be a special area where visitors can donate.  

"Tip Top is setting up an additional area next to Fiji village where visitors can have their face painted for a gold coin donation. All proceeds are going to the Oxfam relief effort."