The ASB Polyfest is back in 2021. The iconic festival will celebrate its 45th anniversary this year after this milestone was put on hold last year due to the initial COVID-19 outbreak, which banned large events.
The ASB Polyfest is the largest Maori & Pacific Islands Festival in the world and features traditional music, dance and speech from Auckland secondary school students. It is a celebration of youth performance and a showcase of New Zealand’s diverse cultures.
Students compete in speech, song and dance in the following cultures - Cook Islands, Maori, Niue, Samoan, Tongan, and Diversity, which features cultures such as Chinese, Fijian, Tokelau, Indian, Korean and Sri Lankan.
The Manukau Sports Bowl will come to life from 14-17 April, with the colour and culture of the ASB Polyfest. Students perform on these stages with pride and passion, and the honour of being top school in their respective culture.
There are a few changes to the timing and format of the event. The dates move to the final week of Term 1 this year and will operate four stages instead of six. Students will not miss any performance time with the new format seeing the Niue Stage sharing with Diversity Stage, Tongan Stage share with the Cook Islands Stage, Samoan Stage share with the speech competitions, and Maori Stage hosting its three divisions over the festival’s four-day duration.
The revised festival layout allows more space for stallholders to spread out, and social distancing for attendees. Each stage will have a surrounding village with food & craft stalls from the respective Maori or Pacific culture.
The festival theme from last year has been retained, with this being:
“Ma roto mai I te Ahurea whieikoka, ko te whakaora tinana, hinengaro,wairua me te ira tangata”
“Healing the body, mind and soul with the strength of culture”