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Last day of Polyfest cancelled following Chch terrorist attack

By Jessica Tyson
  • Auckland

The gates are closed at the world's largest Māori and Pacific Island festival, the ASB Polyfest, following the terrorist attack that took place at two mosques in Christchurch yesterday.

Chair of the ASB Polyfest Trust Gregory Pierce and ASB Polyfest event director Seiuli Terri Leo Mauu decided to cancel the last day of the festival today because yesterday’s events have unsettled some of the performers, staff, schools and sponsors.

“To respect their well-being we have decided to cancel the final day of the festival, says Pierce and Mauu.

“The safety and well-being of our student performers and the public that come to enjoy the festival is always paramount in our planning.”

Pierce and Mauu say if the event had gone ahead there would have been a significant presence of heavily armed police at the festival “which would not have been appropriate for Saturday’s family day focus at the ASB Polyfest.”

The ASB Polyfest is one of the most iconic Auckland festivals and this year celebrates its 44th anniversary.

In 2018, the Manukau-based event attracted approximately 108,000 people.  More than 12,000 student performers in 241 groups from Auckland-based schools attended the four-day festivities.