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More diversity at ASB Polyfest 2018

The second day of the 2018 ASB Polyfest starts at 8am this morning, with a record 242 groups performing on stage across the four-day festival.

One stage that has seen huge growth this year is the Victoria University of Wellington Diversity Stage, which accommodates groups outside the festival’s traditional Maori, Cook Islands, Niuean, Tongan and Samoan performance categories.

87 groups will hit the diversity stage this year, representing 26 different cultures. Indian is most popular culture represented with 18 groups, followed by Chinese with 10 groups, Fijian and Filipino with eight groups each, and Korean with five groups.

Entrants performing on the Victoria University Diversity Stage today are a Spanish group from One Tree Hill College at 10:20am, the Kiribati Group from Manurewa High School at 1:05pm, the Tuvaluan group from Kelston Girl’s Grammar & Kelston Boys High School at 3:55pm and an Ethiopian group from Papatoetoe High School at 5:15pm.

DiversityStage co-ordinators Sarah Woods and Ranee Prasad say: “the Victoria University of Wellington Diversity Stage accepts all cultural groups that fall outside the Maori and Pacific Island stages, giving them the opportunity to showcase who they are and where they come from at the ASB Polyfest.

”The huge growth in the stage represents the changing cultural face of Auckland.”

Today also sees 15 kapa haka groups on the Te Whare Wanaga o Awanuiarangi Maori Stage from 8:00am –4:00pm to complete the Division 3 competition.

Waiheke High School kapa haka group return to the Te Whare Wanaga o Awanuiarangi Maori Stage at 12:50pm today after a ten year absence from the ASB Polyfest.

The AUT Cook Islands Stage, MIT Niue Stage, University of Auckland Samoan Stage and Massey University Tongan Stage host speech competitions today in their native language. This year’s speech topics are based on road and transport safety.

ASB Polyfest 2018 takes place at the Manukau Sports Bowl from Wednesday 14 March to Saturday, 17 March. Entry is $5, with pre-school children free of charge.


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