Polyfest is the biggest festival in the South Pacific for secondary school students’ cultural dance and performance groups. It has been in existence since 1976 and has grown to be the biggest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
The festival will run across four days with performances taking place on six stages. It will be held from Wednesday, March 14 to Saturday, March 17.
The ASB Polyfest features traditional music, dance, costume and speech and is now recognised as an important showcase of New Zealand’s diverse cultures. It is also an exciting and energetic celebration of youth performance.
Students will compete on five of the venue’s stages, performing traditional items from the Cook Islands, Maori, Niue, Samoan and Tongan cultures. There will also be a “Diversity” stage featuring performances from a range of cultural groups representing Fiji, Tokelau, China, Korea and India.
Tereora College principal Tania Morgan said Polyfest was a great opportunity for the school culture team to represent their Cook Islands culture.
“As part of the schools’ mission of developing “tangata tiratira tu” (excellence in citizenship), we have sought, particularly over the past couple of years, to empower and develop our students to become leaders and role models for others within our learning community.”
Morgan said the re-establishment of the school’s 1st XV rugby team this year had come out of its aim of developing school leaders.
“The school’s focus is on developing sporting, cultural and academic identity and we see the emphasis on further developing a cultural team that is representative of the college as an important one.”
The school is liaising with Tupou Manapori, a former student of Tereora College to learn the finer details of the visit in regard to performances, accommodation and travel.
Morgan said the group hoped to visit New Zealand from March 10 to March 18.
Initial meetings about the Polyfest visit have been open to all Tereora College students, with selected puils being identified to take part in a selection of events in 2018.
- Melody Cargill/Release