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Special Guests attend ASB Polyfest at 10:30am this Morning

17 March 2017

Special Guests attend ASB Polyfest at 10:30am this Morning

The ASB Polyfest welcomes some special guests to the Manukau Sports Bowl this morning, with the Minster for Pacific Peoples - Hon Alfred Ngaro and league legend Nigel Vagana attending a function at the ASB Activation Marquee from 10:30am.

The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Hon. Alfred Ngaro spoke recently of attending the ASB Polyfest as a Henderson High School student and how it impressed on him – “the importance of culture and language.” Ngaro believes it is vital for students to “learn about their culture, and doing so will enhance their sense of well-being.”

In 2015, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples made a three-year funding commitment to the ASB Polyfest, helping ensure the ongoing financial future of the event, after it was impacted by Cyclone Luisi during the 2014 festival.

The Chairman of the ASB Polyfest Trust Patrick Drumm says this grant – “is significant, as it helps the ASB Polyfest Trust mitigate against any unforeseen events which may impact on the event. The ASB Polyfest is not a profit generating event and lacks the reserves to deal with any financial problems, so the grant from the Ministry of Pacific Peoples has helped us develop a reserve fund.”

This year’s festival theme is: “Nurturing Leadership through Culture” and league legend Nigel Vagana is a living example of this. He performed at the ASB Polyfest from 1991-1993 as part of the St Pauls College Samoan Group.

In his sporting career, Nigel Vagana played 37 tests for the Kiwis league team from 1998 – 2006, as well as two internationals for Toa Samoa. He made 260 first grade appearances for the Warriors, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Canterbury Bulldogs, Cronulla Sharks and the UK’s Warrington Wolves. Following his playing career, Vagana worked for the NRL as the Pacific Player welfare manager.

The Manukau Sports Bowl will be alive with Maori & Pacific Island colour and culture at the ASB Polyfest today. The Te Whare Wanaga o Awanuiarangi Maori Stage features the Division 2 kapa haka competition from 8am – 5pm with 14 schools vying to be promoted to Division 1 next year. The University of Auckland Samoan Stage has 19 groups on stage from 8:30am – 5:30pm, the drums will be beating on the AUT Cook Islands Stage with 7 groups on stage from 9am – 3pm, the Massey University Tongan Stage features 30 traditional Tongan dances such as the Ma’ulu’ulu and Kailao from 8:30am – 3.30pm. The MIT Niue Stage runs from 9:30am – 2:30pm today and has 7 groups on stage.

The 2017 ASB Polyfest takes place at the Manukau Sports Bowl from Wednesday, 15 March to Saturday, 18 March. Entry is $5 with pre-school children free of charge.

Key Details:

Event: ASB Polyfest

Dates: 15 - 18 March 2017

Place: Manukau Sports Bowl, Te Irirangi Drive, Manukau

Entry: $5. Preschool children are free


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