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26th Pasifika Festival coming soon

14 March 2018

26th Pasifika Festival coming soon

Tour the traditions and tastes of the Pacific at Western Springs

• The 26th Pasifika Festival takes place at Western Spring Park on Saturday, 24 and Sunday, 25 March

• Hundreds of local and international performers, artists and artisans take part

• Artists travelling from the Pacific Islands include hula groups from Hawaii, the Suluape tattooists from Samoa, the 32-member La Orana Troupe Tahiti from Papara, and the Heimana Hula Band from Rarotonga

• Get an insight into the practices of traditional pit oven cooking (hangi, umu or lovo), tattooing, weaving, carving and more.

Auckland’s world-renowned celebration and showcase of its Pacific Island communities and whanau will rock Western Springs Park on Saturday, 24 and Sunday, 25 March with the 26th Pasifika Festival.

Tens of thousands of Aucklanders and visitors are expected to attend the two-day festival, which features hundreds of local and international performers, artists and artisans.

For newcomers to the festival, Pasifika has 11 distinctly different villages, each with a performance stage and market stalls selling signature dishes and crafts unique to the village’s culture. The villages represent the Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Aotearoa, Hawaii, Kiribati, Samoa, Tahiti, Tuvalu, Tonga and Tokelau.

The festival is free to enter, with lots of free activities and live entertainment. There are food, craft and retail stalls where festival-goers can buy authentic food, clothing, traditional arts and crafts, food stuffs, skin care, novelties and souvenirs from the festival.

Pasifika offers the chance to revel in the sights, sounds and flavours of the South Pacific, and to get an insight into traditional practices across various cultures.

Earth oven cooking is widespread around the Pacific, and this year people can learn more about the techniques and their variations in different cultures. Many of the Pasifika villages are offering hosted earth ovens – hosts will explain to visitors the traditions and techniques behind hāngi, umu or lovo (depending on the culture) when the food is unearthed and made available for sale.

In the Samoan village, the internationally renowned Suluape tattooists will be using traditional techniques to mark pre-selected people with pe’a or malu (male or female tattoos), culminating in the sacred samaga pe’a ceremony, which marks the completion of a tattoo, lifting taboos, blessing the recipients and acknowledging the tattooist, in a rare opportunity for non-Samoans to see.

Festival goers can also see tattooists at work in the Aotearoa and Fiji villages.

Other glimpses into traditional practices include a narrated re-enactment a traditional Tuvaluan marriage, from the potu lama community proposal through to the wedding ceremony; ages-old Māori and Hawaiian healing practices; mini workshops about Cook Island textile art and weaving techniques; traditional kava or ‘ava ceremonies; and Tokelauan carvers creating fishing lures from shells, still in common use today and highly sought after by keen fishers.

A snapshot of the Pacific’s contemporary marketplace is in the spotlight at Pasifika this year, with the Pasifika Business Market. The market features more than 40 island-based companies that are part of Pacific Trade & Invest’s Path To Market programme, developing and testing their products for the New Zealand market.

The companies will showcase their wares, including food (and coffee), clothing and accessories, handicrafts and skincare. Sample Tongan frozen seaweed, coffee from Vanuatu, organic skincare from Samoa and the Cook Islands and lots more.

The Pasifika Festival is organised by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) on behalf of Auckland Council, in partnership with the Pasifika Festival Village Coordinators, who represent the different communities and guide the cultural integrity of the festival.

Next door to Pasifika, the Museums of Auckland, including the Auckland Museum, Auckland Art Gallery, MOTAT and Maritime Museum, are celebrating Pacific culture, rhythms and flavours with Pasifika Vibes @ MOTAT, a free event running alongside the festival. People can chill out with great music, live entertainment, and food including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Like Pasifika Festival, this is a smoke and alcohol-free event. Please note: Only the event village will be open to the public. The MOTAT exhibition halls and rest of the Museum will not be open over these days. For more information visit

For more information, see Closer to the date, festival goers can text ‘Pasifika’ to 332 to receive a unique link to the 2018 Pasifika Festival mobile site*, powered by Spark, featuring highlights, tips and an interactive festival map (or visit

* Standard text rates and terms and conditions apply. See for full Ts&Cs.

Pasifika is sponsored and supported by AMI, Vector Lights, Western Union, Mai FM, Spark, New Zealand Post, Air New Zealand, Edgewater Resort, Resene, Pacific Media Network, University of Otago, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Pacific Peoples, Department of Internal Affairs, Te Wananga o Aoteoroa, BCITO.


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