It is the first time that any cultural team or college from the Cook Islands has been invited to perform at the annual cultural festival.
Forty-three senior students from Tereora and support crew will travel into Auckland on March 10 to be a part of the 43rd ASB Polyfest.
Principal Tania Morgan is excited for the students to showcase their culture internationally.
“It’s the first time that a college in the Cook Islands has been invited to perform.
“We are in the guest artist’s category and want to capitalise this opportunity to showcase the talents of our students here at Tereora College,” she said.
The ASB Polyfest features traditional music, dance, costume and speech and is now recognised as an important showcase of New Zealand’s diverse cultures and a celebration of youth performance. Tereora College cultural team will perform traditional items along with New Zealand Maori, Niuean, Samoan and Tongan cultures. There will also be a diversity stage featuring performances from a range of cultural groups including Fijian, Tokelau, Chinese, Korean and Indian. Morgan says she has confidence in the school’s cultural team because they have Cook Islands culture embedded in them.
The school’s cultural team completed a ‘run-a-thon’ on Saturday which raised $5000 for the trip. Morgan said a sponsorship drive was held prior to the fundraiser, which raised $4685 and the school is expecting another $4000 from remaining sponsorships that are yet to be collected. The National Auditorium is expected to be packed tonight with over 2000 tickets printed for purchase, selling at $5 each. The school’s travelling cultural team will be performing as well as the college’s Year 12 dance classes.
Students have been going around the community selling a majority of the available tickets.
Morgan encouraged those interested in going to the event to contact the school as there was no guarantee of door sales.
A personal contribution was expected from each of the travelling students and the fundraising proceeds will cover remaining expenses such as flights, accommodation, transport, food, travel uniforms, formal wear and travel insurance.
The Cook Islands community in Auckland will be hosting the team from Tereora and have also organised a fundraising show for the team to perform in Auckland.
Morgan says the school has received many inquiries from former Tereora students studying in New Zealand who are expected to come in full force to support the performing team.
“We are very grateful for all the support from the community and a special thank you to Tupou Manapori who is the Polyfest Cook Islands stage manager, a former Tereora College student and a former staff member who has been so supportive,” Morgan said.