The iconic Pasifika Festival celebrated its 25th birthday last week.
With free entry, more than 220 performance groups and 60,000 visitors, Western Springs Park was transformed into 11 villages representing the different Pacific Islands and included a 25 yr anniversary showcase.
Here are some of the beautiful Pasifika faces we came across at the festival ....
Now that Pasifika goes for 2 days we thought we'd try out the food on Saturday and give you our recommendations on what to try today if you're going down for the first time or maybe you're just ready for Round 2.
We went around to each of the villages and checked out some of the unique dishes to their island or in this case Pasifika Village
Tiare Events - Rukau Pie & Cook Islands Poke
"In the Cook Islands our parents feed us with the Rukau (taro leaves) - the rukau is boiled in the water and we put the coconut cream in it. When we come to New Zealand we learn from other Master Chefs and put our own twist on it. So we put the rukau into a pie.
Then poke is the over ripe banana which is boiled and then add arrowroot starch to it with Coconut Cream and bake it but not in the oven, in our underground oven - they wrap it and bake it in the umu.…more
Polyfest 2017 wrapped on Saturday afternoon and we've got more behind the scenes, performances & action from the Cook Islands & Niue Stages PLUS the results for each Pacific Island stage at Polyfest.
COOK ISLANDS STAGE
OVERALL WINNERS: Mangere College
2nd - Aorere College
3rd - Sir Edmund Hillary College
Behind the scenes, some performance highlights & action from the Samoan & Tongan stages at Polyfest 2017
Ei katu's or Head Lei's/Garlands seemed to be the popular head adornment of the day.
Check out some of the different designs on display down at Polyfest today ...
Great Poly talent threw it down in the ring last night for Canteen at the Cloud with support from well known artists and entertainers.
Our very own Tofiga Fepulea'i put his Aunty Tala dress away & took on MC duties with ring master Jared Turner.
22 individuals from all walks of life had trained and fundraised for the last few months which culminated with them stepping into the ring last night in 11 corporate boxing matches.
Supporters and spectators were also treated to 3 Professional exhibition matches which included Kickboxer & MMA fighter Genah Fabian.
Genah along with Ritchie Hardcore and Rod Mcswain had also helped with the training, preparation and corner support for each of the corporate matches as well.
Throughout the night there were also performances by Boh Runga, General Fiyah, Kings & Stan Walker with an outstanding 3 course meal designed by celebrity chefs Michael Meredith & Aaron Freeman.
More highlights & behind the scenes shots from the night below ....
Last night the Pasifika Film Fest opened in Auckland and our Pacific community came out to support the inaugral event which was held at the Queen Street Event Cinemas.
They were treated to performances by the Groovehouse Family & Fine Fatale and were welcomed Hawai'ian style into the theatre by Hawai'an dance group 'Aruna' before watching the opening night feature - "Kumu Hina", a film about a transgender Hawaiian teacher who inspires a girl to lead the school's male hula troupe.
Pasifika Film Fest Founder and Director Kalo Fainu notes, “The festival exists as a platform for storytellers of Pacific & Maori heritage to share their films on the big screen and to have the opportunity to have their art seen by large audiences. The PFF initiative is a place for the community to celebrate & take part in the diverse cultures of Oceania”.
Passionate about the Pacific community, NRL Wellbeing and Education Manager and Festival Co-Director Nigel Vagana adds, “It has been an awesome journey the last few years. I am really excited to bring it to NZ especially my hometown, Auckland.…more
Last Saturday night saw the official launch of the Goebel Sisters organisation 'Sisters United' at the Palace Dance Studios in Auckland, New Zealand.
Kendal the eldest of the Goebel sisters started 'Sisters United' to combat the negative effects of bullying, low self-esteem, negative body image and cultural disconnection. 'Sisters United' were given the Vodafone 'World of Difference' award and with the support of the Vodafone Foundation they are building a crew of Young Queens who have the confidence, passion & skills to achieve their dreams.
The 3 Goebel sisters - Kendal, middle sister Narelle & youngest sister Parris - introduced the family based organisation and shared with those that attended, their vision & the different programmes that would be offered through 'Sisters United'
Narelle spoke first and touched on what 'Sisters United' is and what they hoped the young women would get out of the program.
"Sisters United is a family based organisation embedded in South Auckland providing exciting, fresh and creative programs and services to Young Women aged 14-21.…more
The 2nd annual 'Oka Festival' took place in early December last year in Beautiful Samoa.
It was a great day out to see local aspiring chefs compete together - Horace Evans owner of Home Cafe & Joe Lam owner of Scalini's Restaurant (& organisers of the Oka Fest) break down the criteria for judging and why you should put it in your calendar this year!
The competition requires participating restaurants to submit a team of 3 that will compete in 3 separate categories, coconut husking and milking, tuna filleting and Oka making, using local ingredients to create one unique Oka dish.
Director/Editor: Mario Faumui
Cam Op: Dazzlombard
Sound Op: Wilhelm Voigt
Researcher: Lizie Koroivulaono
Samoa Tourism Association
Taumeasina Island Resort
Samoa Culinary Association