Polyfest 2023: Over 60,000 expected at returning cultural festival

More than 60,000 people are expected to attend the return of cultural event ASB Polyfest in Auckland over the coming days.

The 2023 festival marks the competition's return after 2022's event was held without a crowd due to COVID-19 concerns, with the pandemic and Christchurch terror attack resulting in its cancellation in previous years.

Polyfest will be held over two different dates, first at the Manukau Sports Bowl from March 8-11 and from April 3-5 at the Due Drop Events Centre.

The show, which started in 1976, is a secondary schools competition and features traditional music, dance, costume and speech competitions.

More than 180 groups will take part at the event, the start of which was kicked off by a powhiri in Manukau this morning after fears the explosion on Auckland's Southern Motorway would delay the event.

This year's theme is "Mana Motuhake", which translates to "Creating one's destiny"