New funding will give Polyfest, the world’s largest Pacific festival, the chance to grow even further, Minister for Pacific Peoples Alfred Ngaro says.
A total of $200,000 has been granted to explore options for the future direction of the festival.
The Ministry for Pacific Peoples will bring on a specialist to work with the Polyfest Trust in exploring opportunities for the future of the festival. An advisory group will also support the work.
“Polyfest is a world class event and is a source of pride for all the young people who take part,” Mr Ngaro says.
“It gives our young people an opportunity to connect with their heritage, to strengthen their identity of being a young pacific person and celebrate so many of the things that make our cultures so special.
“Our young people gain confidence, leadership and many other skills that set them up for a lifetime of success.
“We want to see the festival grow even stronger and have more Kiwis taking part and celebrating Pacific diversity.
“As the Pacific population is the youngest and fastest-growing in New Zealand it becomes even more important that we strengthen Pacific languages, cultures and identities and Polyfest is a perfect example of how we might achieve that.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the options the experts come up with and watching the Polyfest continue to grow and engage more of our young people for many years to come.”
The announcement has been welcomed by Chairperson of the Polyfest Trust Board, Patrick Drumm.
“The Polyfest Trust and schools are excited about the new support. Over the past 42 years Polyfest has grown from a foundation base of 4 schools to an event today that hosts almost 10,000 students from over 60 schools,” Mr Drumm says.
“The Trust is grateful for the funding which will ensure Polyfest can continue to grow and provide even more of our young people with the opportunity to celebrate diversity and their identities.