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2019 ASB Polyfest gets underway next week

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Manukau Sports Bowl will burst into life in a week’s time with the 44th staging of the ASB Polyfest. From Wednesday, March 13 to Saturday, March 16 the Sports Bowl will reverberate with traditional song and dance from Auckland’s youth.

ASB Polyfest 2019 will see more than 12,000 secondary school students from across the Auckland region perform on stage, with 234 performing groups entered from 66 schools.

Students will compete in traditional song, dance and speech on one of six stages - Cook Islands (16 entries), Maori (54 entries), Niue (15 entries), Samoan (30 entries), Tongan (31 entries), and the Diversity stage (88 entries) which features cultures such as Chinese, Fijian, Indian and Korean.

At the helm of this iconic Auckland festival is Event Director - Seiuli Terri Leo-Mauu. Leo-Mauu is of Samoan descent, and passionate about young people and community development. She sees next week’s festival as "more than 4 days of competition, speech and performances. It’s 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."

Next week thousands of young leaders will grace the stage in the youth festival that has become the largest Maori and Pacific Island festival in the world.

ASB head of community, sponsorship and events Mark Graham said ASB is proud to be involved in ASB Polyfest, this year celebrating 34 years of support. Graham said - "ASB Polyfest brings many cultures together, creating one community. It’s been amazing to be part of this event over so many years and to see it progress into the festival it is today. We look forward to supporting the students as they proudly perform for their families and their schools in a week’s time."

This year’s festival gets underway next Wednesday , 13 March with a special flag-raising ceremony at 7am, followed by a powhiri at 8am which includes a mass haka from Kura Matua Schools - Kia Aroha College and James Cook High School.

The theme for this year’s festival is -

The blood of the ocean flows through me

My sustenance, my nest of higher learning, my navigator

I am the living essence of the ocean

the living essence of the ocean is me"

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