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New Festival Director at helm of 2018 ASB Polyfest

New Festival Director at helm of 2018 ASB Polyfest

The Manukau Sports Bowl will burst into life tomorrow with the 43rd staging of the ASB Polyfest. From Wednesday, March 14 to Saturday, March 17 the Sports Bowl will reverberate with traditional song and dance from Auckland’s youth.

ASB Polyfest 2018 will see more than 10,000 secondary school students from across the Auckland region perform on stage, with a record 242 performing groups entered from 69 schools.

Students will compete in traditional song, dance and speech on one of six stages - Cook Islands, Maori, Niue, Samoan, Tongan, and the Diversity stage which features cultures such as Chinese, Fijian, Tokelau, Indian, Korean and Sri Lankan.

At the helm of this iconic Auckland festival is new Event Director - Seiuli Terri Leo-Mauu. She is no stranger to ASB Polyfest having been a sponsor for the last 12 years, when she was working in the Tertiary Sector.

Seiuli Terri is of Samoan descent, and passionate about young people and community development. She started in the role of ASB Polyfest Festival Director mid way through last year, and can’t wait for this week’s event.

She sees this week’s festival as “more than 4 days of competition, speech and performances. It’s a place our children can express themselves, it’s an avenue that creates time with our Mamas and Papas and learning the old ways of how to weave and make your costumes, how to sing or chant the way they do back home, how to articulate and pronounce words properly, how to be respectful and be disciplined, how to be a LEADER.”

“All these attributes, characteristics, skills, our children take back to school and we hope that they apply these to their studies and future career aspirations.”

At the recent launch for this year’s festival, Seiuli Terri Leo-Mauu paid tribute to the lessons taught to her by her late parents, and related this to the upcoming festival said – “why is it important to celebrate our culture and our diverseness. Because once our loved ones who teach us, who live it, who respect it are gone – it’s up to us to continue their legacy and keep their cultures alive.”

Culture will be alive and on show for the public at this year’s ASB Polyfest, starting with the powhiri at 8:00am tomorrow (Wednesday, 14 March) at the Manukau Sports Bowl.

The theme for this year’s festival is –
uia te muka tangata
Tuia te muka wairua
Whiria te ahurea tuakirikiri
Whiria te ahurea tuamanomano

Thread the fibres of humanity
Thread the fibres of spiritual well being
Bind together the essence of cultural identity
Weave together the diverseness of cultural awareness

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