The 48th annual Polyfest celebration of Pacific culture in New Zealand has attracted thousands of school children from across the Pacific region, with an estimated 60,000 people attending the event over four days.
The festival, which features music, food and on-stage competitions, showcases the best in Polynesian culture, with 242 performing groups from various schools taking part in the event.
It is the first time the festival, New Zealand’s largest secondary schools’ cultural competition, has been held in full and open to the public since 2018, after years of disruptions and cancellations.
The event was also graced by the presence of Prime Minister Chris Hipkins. He said a number of central government agencies were providing “quite a lot of sponsorship” to events like Polyfest because they were “an incredible opportunity for the community to come together”.
After disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Polyfest was a great opportunity for students to perform traditional dances and songs in Niuean, Tongan, Samoan and Cook Islands languages.