Power-packed performances celebrate a fusion of cultures at ASB Polyfest

EXCEPTIONAL: Students of Ormiston Senior College get ready to perform the Korean fan dance on the Diversity stage. Photo supplied.

Charged with energy, ASB Polyfest 2017 came to a foot-tapping end on Saturday.

Polyfest, staged at the Manukau Sports Bowl, is the world’s largest Maori and Pacific Island festival with 60 schools participating.

Prime Minister Bill English looked very relaxed as he spent two hours on the final day of the festival with his wife Mary who is part Samoan.

He headed straight to the University of Auckland Samoan stage and later to the Niue stage before visiting stall owners and mingling with students.

Mr English also spent time chatting with Samoan stage co-ordinator Toesulu Brown, a familiar motherly face who has been involved with the festival for the last 40 year.

COMMUNITY: Prime Minister Bill English has a chat with Samoan stage co-ordinator Toesulu Brown, a familiar face at the ASB Polyfest for the last 40 years. Photo supplied.

The festival also had Minister for Pacific Peoples, Alfred Ngaro and league legend Nigel Vagana attending a function at the ASB Activation Marquee.

From a small festival that started 42 years ago with barely four schools participating, to one that draws power packed performances from 228 groups, ASB Polyfest was buzzing with excitement with around 90,000 people attending over four days.

The vibrant showcase of New Zealand’s diverse culture and celebration of youth performance had students simultaneously perform on six stages that included Cook Island, Maori, Niue, Samoan, Tongan and the Diversity stage.

Spectators were treated to a range of amazing Pacific island performances and kappa haka at its best with division one groups battling it out not only for the title but for places in the national kappa haka competition.

CULTURE: Botany Downs Secondary College performing an African item at this year’s Polyfest. Photo supplied.

Also spotted were local schools like Botany Downs Secondary College, Ormiston Senior College and Edgewater College putting their best foot forward to give an electrifying performance.

Educational stalls like the Te Wananga o Aotearoa, New Zealand’s second largest education provider had students flocking in to partake in different activities, while fire fighters gave an entertaining demo to students on being fire wise.

All in all, the festival that celebrates a fusion of cultures like none other, ended on a high note.