Largest annual Pacific youth festival in the world kicks off in a week

Officially launched in late Feb 2018 ASB Polyfest will kick off at the Manukau Sports Bowl from 14-17 of March. The largest Pacific youth festival of its kind is now in its 43rd year. It will see more than 10,000 secondary school students from across the Auckland region perform traditional song, dance and speech on one of the festival’s six stages - Cook Islands, Maori, Niue, Samoan, Tongan, and the Diversity stage which features cultures such as Chinese, Fijian, Tokelau, Indian, Korean and Sri Lankan.



The theme for this year’s festival is:


Tuia te muka tangata

Tuia te muka wairua

Whiria te ahurea tuakirikiri

Whiria te ahurea tuamanomano


Thread the fibres of humanity


Thread the fibres of spiritual well being


Bind together the essence of cultural identity


Weave together the diverseness of cultural awareness


At the official launch that took place at ASB’s North Wharf, attended by Associate Minister for Pacific Peoples and newly appointed Minister for Social Development, for Disability Issues and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon. Carmel Sepuloni, who said the festival is largest Pacific youth festival in the world and celebrates and showcases the diversity of our cultures, our languages and importantly our youth of today.

“Pacific cultures are unique, a point of difference, and our voice” she said, before adding “and it is important to nurture cultures and keep that identity alive to ensure our youth thrive on any stage they take on.”


Ms Sepuloni asked the principals and teachers in attendance at last night’s launch to “encourage and support students to see value in embracing their culture and Pacific identity”.


“It’s important that youth are confident in their cultural identity, as this will serve as a platform for future success.”


ASB Polyfest Festival Director - Seiuli Terri Leo-Mauu echoed the minister’s sentiment speaking of the upcoming festival being more than four days of competition, speech and performances, but rather a place our children can express themselves.



“It’s an avenue that creates time with our Mamas and Papas and learning the old ways of how to weave and make your costumes, how to sing or chant the way they do back home, how to articulate and pronounce words properly, how to be respectful and be disciplined, how to be a LEADER.


“All these attributes, characteristics, skills, our children take back to school and we hope that they apply these to their studies and future career aspirations.”


This year’s ASB Polyfest has attracted a record number of entries with 252 performing groups entered from 69 schools.

Key Details:


Event: ASB Polyfest


Dates: 14 - 17 March 2018


Place: Manukau Sports Bowl, Te Irirangi Drive, Manukau


Entry: $5. Preschool children are free