Preparations underway for 25th Pasifika Festival

In just over three weeks, the 25th Pasifika Festival will take place in Western Springs Park, Auckland. 

Anniversary celebrations are already underway with a live art installation happening at the Lower Queen Street Plaza, out the front of the Britomart Station. 

The mural called The Pacific Journey celebrated 25 years of the Pasifika Festival. It depicts the 11 different Pacific nations represented at the festival, the great Polynesian navigators who risked their lives in search of new land and broader futures for their people.

Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) Head of Major Events, Charmaine Ngarimu says the mural graces one of Auckland’s major arrival points, where thousands of commuters and visitors will see it each day.

“Tāmaki Makaurau is the largest Polynesian city in the world, and Pasifika the largest cultural festival of its kind in the world. Marking 25 years of the Pasifika Festival with art that recognises the navigational journey of many of our ancestors, in one of Auckland’s main connection points seems a fitting tribute to the voyage the festival has been on and will continue to traverse into the future.”

Pasifika is a free, family-friendly festival and is a great way to experience the diverse cultures of our Pacific whanau, with 11 villages representing the Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Aotearoa, Hawaii, Kiribati, Samoa, Tahiti, Tuvalu, Tonga and Tokelau.

Actor and renowned screenwriter Oscar Kightley will join celebrity foodies Robert Oliver and Aaron and Heather Freeman to judge the PAK’NSAVE Ultimate Kaimaster Food Awards. They will have the mighty task of sampling over 50 dishes created by Pasifika food stallholders. The top three dishes will be recognised for using traditional techniques to create healthy, authentic Pacific Island food. Winners will be presented with their awards on Saturday lunchtime (Cook Island stage), allowing visitors plenty of time to try the winning dishes.

While Saturday has a festive and busy vibe, Sunday is a good choice for those who prefer a more relaxed pace. Resonate will be kicking off the day’s activities with a choral anniversary celebration with other singing groups in Fiji village at 10am.

The Pasifika Festival is one of Auckland’s four major cultural festivals, along with the Auckland Lantern Festival, Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival and Auckland Diwali Festival. 

The festival will be held on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 March.