The Pasifika Festival takes place each year in March in Auckland’s Western Springs Park. It is a fantastic weekend celebrating the music, food, arts and dance of New Zealand’s Pacific Island Communities. The festival consists of 11 authentic villages where you can experience the friendly Pacific Island community in Auckland. The Pacific villages include Aotearoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Tahiti, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Hawaii. This is the most significant cultural festival in the South Pacific.
With 1000 performers on 11 stages, 200 stalls selling crafts and 150 different food dishes you don’t want to miss out on this festival.
Dates: 8-9 March 2014
The Pacifika Festival takes place in early March each year at the Western Springs Park in Auckland Central.
In 1993, the event incorporated a Pacific Island fashion show and theatre performances. Over 20,000 people attended in only the festival’s second year.
Between 1995 and 2000 an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 people attended each year.
In 2001, a record number of people attended the festival – this included an opening night concert, showcasing the Pacific talent scheduled to perform on the festival day. This initiative won the Creative New Zealand’s Creative Places Award in 2001.
Between 2002 and 2004, community stallholder numbers exceeded 300 for the first time. It’s estimated that over $1 million changed hands during the 2002 festival.
The inaugural Pacific Music Awards were introduced at the Air New Zealand Opening Night Concert in 2005. The awards later went on to thrive as a stand-alone celebration of Pacific musical talent.
2007 celebrated the festival’s 15th anniversary, and Pasifika won the Best Established Event award from NZAEP (New Zealand Association of Event Professionals). This was a true reflection of the efforts of past and present project managers, and the team of community workers and volunteers.
A six-day programme was introduced in 2010 – including a number of ticketed events at other venues, some of the best acts from performer auditions, and ‘Po’ – a tribal pop opera by Mika.
Since 2011, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) has delivered the Pasifika Festival with the essential support of Auckland’s Pacific Island communities. One of the key objectives is to ensure festival goers get an authentic taste of Pacific Island culture and heritage at the event.
One of the ways this is done is by working with the village co-ordinator from each Pasifika Festival village to create approved menus. Only authentic dishes that showcase traditional cuisine from the respective island nations are chosen for these menus and presented by stallholders.
Pasifika Festival is now the largest celebration of Pacific Island culture and heritage in the world. Over 80,000 people attended Pasifika Festival 2014 over the course of the weekend.