Press Release – New Zealand Government
The annual Polynesian Festival Polyfest event put on another vibrant display of fun and festivity today, attracting tens of thousands of spectators over the course of the festival.Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga
Minister of Pacific Island Affairs
14 March 2014 Media Statement
Polyfest showcases Polynesian pride
The annual Polynesian Festival “Polyfest” event put on another vibrant display of fun and festivity today, attracting tens of thousands of spectators over the course of the festival.
Among them were Prime Minister John Key and Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga.
Prime Minister John Key spoke on the Tongan stage and was extremely well received.
The annual event is now the largest festival of its kind in the world and is in its 39th year.
Its purpose is to demonstrate high school students’ pride in their cultural identity and heritage.
The event this year featured 223 groups entered from 62 schools.
“Visitors of all ages from around the world attend this event to see students perform music, dance and speech,” Mr Lotu-Iiga said.
“The festival is a wonderful celebration of all that is good about Pacific people.”
Students are competing on five stages, performing traditional items from the following cultures – Cook Islands, Maori, Niuean, Samoa and Tonga. A diversity stage also features performances from a range of cultures including Fijian, Tokelauan Islands, Chinese, Korean and India.