King Leaves for 10th Festival of Pacific Arts
Office of King Tuheitia
King Tuheitia leaves today to attend the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts in Pago Pago, America Samoa as the traditional head of the 120-strong New Zealand delegation and will then fly to Tonga to attend the Tongan King’s coronation King George Tupou V.
Artists from 27 Pacific Island nations will take part in the two week festival held every four years since its inception in 1972 to preserve the Pacific’s cultural heritage. King Tuheitia has a keen interest in the various Polynesian art forms and says this will be an exciting forum for our artists to exchange ideas, knowledge, skills and techniques in both the contemporary and traditional forms of art.
“The 10th Festival of the Arts will provide a unique opportunity for all of our very talented artists throughout the Pacific to bring their own individual styles and weave together a vibrant cultural tapestry that reflects what is unique about Polynesia,” King Tuheitia says.
New Zealand artists range from award winning Samoan rap artists King Kapisi and Dam Native to traditional Māori weavers, carvers and ceramic potters as well as artists in the visual arts, film and multi-media.
Current winners of the Matatini Kapa haka Festival, Whangara Mai Tawhiti will also accompany the New Zealand delegation.
King Tuheitia will fly direct to Apia, Samoa where he will be welcomed on the tarmac by Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese, Head of State in Samoa who will host the official party at his official residence in Vailele.
In Pago Pago, King Tuheitia will host the heads of the 27 Pacific Nations participating in the festival with an evening of entertainment involving the entire New Zealand delegation, a menu of seafood, a traditional Māori hāngi and a variety of New Zealand wines.
Following the festival, King Tuheitia will join other royalty at the coronation for King Tupou V including the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Crown Prince and Crown Princesses of Japan and Princess Sirinhorn of Thailand where he will take part in the Taumafa Kava, the traditional Installations Ceremony of Kings, a sacred ceremony dating back to the inception of the Kingdom of Tonga.
The coronation celebrations will include 3 Coronation Balls, a military parade, a rugby match between Tonga and a selected world XV from several rugby nations throughout the world who will come together to honour the coronation of King Tupou V.
An open-air Variety Concert featuring a variety of performers will bring together a 70-strong choir from China with a 300-strong choir from Tonga in honour of the King’s Coronation.