Colour, laughter and music filled the Mahurangi College Hall at the annual Pasifika Festival, organised by the Mahu Community Vision Trust, on Saturday November 25.
The event showcased the traditional songs and dances of the island nations of Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tonga and Samoa, as well as Maori.
Special guests – including Labour List MP Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki, Rodney MP Mark Mitchell, Auckland Councillor Greg Sayers, Rodney Local Board chair Beth Houlbrooke, and Warkworth Police Sgt Mark Stallworthy – added to the spectacle with their own versions of a Polynesian dance.
Pasifika organiser Neville Johnson estimates there were about 800 spectators and performers throughout the afternoon, which concluded with a shared meal.
“The idea of the local Pasifika festival is to create awareness in the wider community that these cultures are part of our community,” Mr Johnson says. “Next year we’d like to see Fiji represented as well, but this may involve bringing a troupe from Auckland to support our small Fijian community.”
Mr Johnson thanked Mahurangi College for its generous support of the festival and said both the college and Warkworth Primary were doing a “terrific job” of celebrating the area’s Pacific culture.
The show was compèred jointly by Peter Meafou and Gene Nicolsen.