Flag Raising and Powhiri to start 2012 ASB Polyfest

Press Release – ASB Polyfest

The 37th staging of the ASB Polyfest started today at the Manukau Sports Bowl with a flag raising ceremony and a special powhiri. The Flag raising ceremony was conducted on the raised ground overlooking the Maori Stage at 7am by representatives from Tainui …14 March 2012

Flag Raising and Powhiri to start 2012 ASB Polyfest

The 37th staging of the ASB Polyfest started today at the Manukau Sports Bowl with a flag raising ceremony and a special powhiri.

The Flag raising ceremony was conducted on the raised ground overlooking the Maori Stage at 7am by representatives from Tainui Kamatua, each festival stage (Maori, Cook Island, Niue, Samoa, Tonga) and the Maori Stage host school – Kia Aroha College. This was followed by the festival powhiri at 9am where the festival guests (manuhiri) are welcomed by the hosts (Tainui & Pacific Island leaders).

Following the official part of the day, the four day festival came alive with Maori & Pacific Island colour and culture. 58 schools are taking part in this year’s festival, with 195 performing groups from these schools and close to 9500 students.

First up on the Hapai Te Hauora Maori Stage today was the Kura Matua (lead school) for the 2012 ASB Polyfest – Kia Aroha College.

This is a new festival role for the newly formed high school. Kia Aroha College was established in January 2011 following the merger of two schools – Clover Park Middle School and Te Whanau o Tupuranga. These two schools had enjoyed a 25 year history on the their shared Otara campus, before they merged as a result of a long held community dream to have all young people learning bilingually in te reo Maori and Pasifika languages right through to Year 13.

Kia Aroha College’s special character is reflected in their choice of the 2012 ASB Polyfest theme – “My Culture Defines Me – Ko au te ahurea Ko te ahurea ko au“. This philosophy and their location as the closest secondary school to the Manukau Sports Bowl makes them the ideal candidate to be the Kura Mutua school for this year’s festival, and the host of the Maori stage.

The other stage today was The Office of Ethnic Affairs Diversity Stage. This stage has grown dramatically over the last couple of years with 54 groups performing over the next two days. There were fifteen groups on stage oday including a Cambodian performance from Manurewa High School, a Tuvaluan performance from Massey High School and a Bhratnatiyam group from Diocesan School for Girls.

The 2012 ASB Polyfest takes place at the ASB Sports Bowl from Wednesday, 14 March to Saturday, 17 March. Entry is $5 with pre-school children free of charge.

www.asbpolyfest.co.nz

ENDS

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