Community Scoop

Rainbow Pasefika at Wellington Pasifika Festival

Press Release – DJ Panda

Leilani A Sio AKA DJ Panda and friends are making history at the Wellington Pasifika Festival.Leilani A Sio AKA DJ Panda and friends are making history at the Wellington Pasifika Festival.

“Every city in Aotearoa has these festivals on an annual basis, and what I have witnessed is an absence of LGBTQIA+. This needs to change and while events like Pride and Out in the Park have their place in the universe, it is meaningful for Rainbow Pasefika to be visible and have representation at a Pacific festival.” – DJ Panda

The Wellington Pasifika Festival will be held this Saturday 20 January from 12-6pm and attracts over 15,000 people each year.

Thanks to a successful Boosted campaign, and the generosity of the community, DJ Panda has organised a free bus (with Panda & Ariki hosting on-board) to go through the suburbs of Strathmore, Miramar, Kilbirnie and Newtown collecting people to be taken to the Wellington Pasifika Festival.

At the Festival an “OrigamiArmy” will be attempting to make the World’s Longest Rainbow Lei while DJs Ariki, Herbee and Rex lay down the sweet, the smoov and the bangerz. The Rainbow marquee will be situated opposite Macs Brewery beside the Wharewaka Cafe & Function Centre.

Wellington City Council festival events organiser Suzanne Tamaki says the LBGTQIA+ community “are such an integral part of the Pacific community we need to showcase.” She is “super excited to be seeing all the people making beautiful flowers and trying to make the world’s biggest rainbow lei. What a cool idea, I will definitely be making one.”

Evolve Youth Service and the New Zealand Aids Foundation peeps are part of the team & will be down there hanging with the “OrigamiArmy”, getting their thread on.

Lee Eklund, Community Engagement Coordinator for the New Zealand Aids Foundation said that there was “no hesitation to support the rainbow community at the festival. We support any community in cultural events and it is important that we’re here supporting our community. It is a fabulous event. We’re surprised it didn’t happen earlier.”

“I would also like to acknowledge everybody who has had a hand in ensuring the realisation of this event.

By having a presence at the Wellington Pasifika Festival, we are validating our youth and sending a clear message that ‘we exist & we belong’.” – DJ Panda


This service will travel through Strathmore, Miramar, Kilbirnie & Newtown

Leaving Courtenay Place, Saturday 20 January 2018, 09:30am


Facebook: We Exist We Belong

Listen: Radio New Zealand National

Bryan Crump & Leilani talking about the concept & reasons behind the event

In the advent of rain this event will take place at the Queen Elizabeth II Pukeahu Education Centre

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