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2014 ASB Polyfest kicks off next week

4 March 2014

2014 ASB Polyfest kicks off next week

The Manukau Sports Bowl will resonate with traditional song and dance from Auckland’s diverse cultures next week with the 39th staging of the ASB Polyfest. From Wednesday, 12 March to Saturday, 15 March the Sports Bowl will be alive with the hosting of the world’s largest Maori & Pacific Island festival.

This year’s ASB Polyfest will be a vibrant celebration of colour and culture, with Auckland students performing kapa haka and traditional Pacific dance, while competing for the honour of being the best school group.

In looking ahead to this year’s festival, Event Director Theresa Howard said – “the 2014 ASB Polyfest will feature traditional music, dance, costume and speech, and showcase the pride and passion of Auckland’s Maori and Pacific Island communities.”

The upcoming festival has a record 62 schools entering 215 performance groups, and over 9000 students performing on one of six stages over the event’s four-day duration.

Having 61 schools entering the 2014 ASB Polyfest is a remarkable achievement when one considers that four schools took part in the inaugural festival in 1976.

A key factor in the growth of the event, to what is now the world’s largest Maori & Pacific Island festival, has been the involvement of ASB. They celebrate their 30th consecutive year as the festival’s naming rights sponsor in 2014, making it one of the longest event partnerships in the country.

In describing the strong partnership that the festival has with ASB, Theresa Howard said – “ASB has supported Polyfest since its beginnings as a much smaller cultural event and have helped grow it into the ASB Polyfest multi-day festival that is the largest of its kind in the world. Over the years ASB has established a supportive working relationship with organisers, fellow sponsors, community representatives from each stage and continues to expand its relationship with participating schools.”

“ASB Polyfest is an iconic annual four-day event that holds a special place in the heart of Aucklanders and the ASB community,” says Mark Graham, ASB’s Head of Community and Sponsorship. “We have been supporting this unique festival since 1985 and are proud to be a part of celebrating Auckland’s cultural identity and heritage alongside so many diverse Kiwi cultures.”

This year’s ASB Polyfest sees Nga Puna O Waiorea – Western Springs College taking the role of head school or Kura Matua. This role includes providing the festival theme and artwork, co-ordinating the Maori stage, and acting as the caretaker of the festival’s Mauri, or sacred stone. Separate schools will take care of each cultural stage with their role known as the Mana Kura.

The schools who have taken on these hosting responsibilities for the 2014 ASB Polyfest are –

Kura Matua
Maori Stage: Nga Puna O Waiorea – Western Springs College

Mana Kura
Cook Islands Stage: Aorere College
Diversity Stage: St Dominics College
Niue Stage: Avondale College
Samoan Stage: Avondale College
Tongan Stage: Northcote College

The theme that Nga Puna O Waiorea – Western Springs College have selected for this year’s ASB Polyfest is – “Care for our seas and our lands, so that the safety of our homes, both present and past endures forever”

Key Details
Event: ASB Polyfest
Dates: 12 – 15 March 2014
Place: Manukau Sports Bowl, Te Irirangi Drive, Manukau
Entry: $5. Preschool children are free


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