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Pasifika Festival showcases Pacific pride

Hon Georgina
te Heuheu
Minister of Pacific Island Affairs

13 February 2009

Media Release        
Pasifika Festival showcases Pacific  pride

Pacific pride will be highlighted at next month’s Auckland Pasifika Festival.

Minister of Pacific Island Affairs Georgina te Heuheu says it is fitting that Auckland – the largest Polynesian city in the world – showcases the biggest Polynesian event in the world.

‘The Pasifika festival is a wonderful celebration of Pacific pride. The Government is staunch in its support for the festival and the Auckland City Council's decision to assist with funding.’

Mrs te Heuheu said she planned to attend the festival. She  was saddened that Labour had chosen to play politics over funding.

‘Labour's Pacific Island spokesperson, Winnie Laban, says she is disappointed by the move of some government agencies to withdraw funding.

‘What she failed to say is that the first cuts in sponsorship were made while Labour was the government. The Ministry for Education relinquished its first right of sponsorship renewal in August 2008 – and in September ACC started talks with the Auckland City Council aimed at transitioning its sponsorship. By January, they agreed they could not agree on terms of the contract.

‘I’m disappointed that Winnie has chosen to turn this wonderful spectacle into a political football.

‘This is a time to support sponsors such as the Ministry for Economic Development, the Auckland City Council,  Creative New Zealand, Sport and Recreation, private sponsors and all those members of the Pacific Island community and Aucklanders themselves who willingly volunteer their time to ensure a fantastic Polynesian day out.’



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