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First Waitakere Moon Festival a shining success

First Waitakere Moon Festival a shining success

The New Lynn town centre was alive with the sights, sounds and smells of Asia for the inaugural Waitakere Moon Festival on September 5 and 6.

Thousands of people took part in the colourful harvest festival - celebrated throughout most of Asia.

Held in and around the New Lynn Community Centre, Friday night’s festivities attracted a big crowd, despite the bitterly cold wind and rain and two power cuts. The atmosphere was electric, with hanging lanterns, lion dancing, singing, traditional dance, martial arts, music, fashion and a bustling market place, selling everything from food to toys. Close to 500 people, many carrying lanterns, also braved the weather to join a lion dance parade around New Lynn.

Saturday also included a fantastic line-up of quality entertainment from many different Asian cultures, as well as the Pacific Islands. Other activities included noodle-making demonstrations, paper folding, Chinese chess, art displays, Cantonese opera make-up and costume demonstrations and free mooncake tasting.

Special guests included the Chinese Consulate General, Yang Xui Ping, the Senior Consul of Japan, Kazuaki Kameda, the Consul General of South Korea, Ho Joon Moon, the Minister of Ethnic Affairs, the Hon. Chris Carter, and the Associate Minister of Finance and MP for Titirangi, the Hon. David Cunliffe.

Waitakere City Mayor, Bob Harvey, welcomed the festival as “a celebration of everything that we know and love of the east Asian cultures”.

“This is an especially auspicious occasion - a festival of colour and celebration. It is a spectacle of dancing, of music, of sheer energy,” he said. “There is a powerful sense of community as Chinese, Korean, Japanese and other Asian communities form and join communities and sports clubs, from churches to tai chi, from karate to Thai dancing. And we are all far richer as a community for the food, the language and literature, the music and the east Asian sense of style that you have all brought.”

Mayor Harvey also commented on the positive impact of Asian business investment in the City: “Already we have seen the face of the City change for the better. There is more dynamism in property development and we can see the confidence that new capital and construction brings to a town.”

The Waitakere Moon Festival was organised by the Waitakere City Council, in partnership with the Cantonese Opera Society and the Asia 2000 Foundation.

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