Celebration of Pasifika culture booms

Celebration of Pasifika culture booms

It's a big month for Pacific arts and culture in New Zealand, and organisers say there's growing international interest.

Thousands attended the Pasifika Festival this weekend, and next week Auckland will host the Pacific Arts International Symposium and the annual Polyfest.

A celebration of culture -- the 24th annual Pasifika Festival is the first of three major Pacific events in Auckland this month.

Organisers say numbers are booming.

"We're part of the pacific so there has to be a growing interest in it," says organiser Blair Jagusch.

Nearly 65 percent of New Zealanders who identify with a Pacific ethnicity live in the Auckland region.

By 2026 it is projected that Pacific Peoples will make up 10 percent of the country's population, compared to 7.4 percent in 2013.

Next week Auckland will host the Pacific Arts Association International Symposium -- which is attracting artists and researchers from across the globe.

"For them to come here to Aotearoa -- the hub of the most vibrant pacific city in the world is a great opportunity for them to have a first-hand interaction with Pacific culture," says PAA Symposium Coordinator Bethany Edmonds.

Organisers say it gives New Zealand a chance to showcase some of its finest talent to the world.

"It's unique to this part of the world and I think it's something we need to be really proud of and promote because it makes us different to everywhere else in the world," says Ms Edmonds.

The festivities will continue next week for secondary schools at Auckland's 41st Polyfest.

A series of events organisers say highlights the richness and importance of Pacific culture in New Zealand.


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