Get a taste of the Pacific on your doorstep

19 January 2016

Travel throughout the Pacific and experience the sights, sounds and flavours of Fiji, Niue, Tonga, Samoa, Tokelau, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, New Zealand and Hawaiʿi – right here in Wellington, no airfares required.

A stylised conch shell in blue with red pasifika motifs emerging from the inside.
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At this year’s Pasifika there’ll be delicious food to buy, free activities and performances by traditional and contemporary Pacific artists including headliner Che-Fu, and the event will be led by MCs the Laughing Samoans.
Che-Fu has performed for royalty and has a list of awards the length of his arm, so don’t miss the opportunity to see one of New Zealand’s most iconic singer songwriters for free!

The Pacific Cuisine Cook-Off will also be a Festival highlight with pineapple pies, banana pancakes, coconut bread, watermelon ice cream, fish curry and chop suey on the menu. This year’s judges include well-known foodie, chef and food writer David Burton, the Laughing Samoans and Councillor Paul Eagle, bringing their expertise and love of food to the table.

Councillor Eagle, Chair of Council’s Community, Sport and Recreation Committee, says the festival is one of the many highlights on the summer calendar for Wellingtonians, but judging the Cook-Off is one of his.

“Every year the judging gets tougher, with the standard of kai getting better and better, but we’re professionals and we’re fully focused on the task in hand,” he jokes.

Parked up at Pasifika will be the Go Wellington Film Bus driven by The Coconet TV team – so sit back and learn How to Fix a Jandal, How to Drum like a Tahitian Boss and How to Dance like a Kuki Princess.

Bring the kids along to the Kava Klubhaus tent for face painting, badge making, ukelele lessons, and the Kava Klubhaus Photo Booth will be open from 10am-4pm – for young and for old.

If you want to feel the power of the Pacific do it in song and do it on masse. There’ll be over 100 performers hitting the stage with choirs; Nuie St James, Tonga Bible Church Youth, Kiribati St Joseph Catholic Group, Porirua Methodist Youth Group and Taulanga Ū Brass Band all bursting into song.

Vaanui Dance Group from Whitireia New Zealand will be pulling plenty of fast hip swinging Cook Island moves. At a slightly slower pace but no less energetic are the Mafutaga Tagata Matutua – these Pacific mamas will be running a live fitness session. If you can swing your arms you can join in the action.

Award-winning brother and sister duo Jerome (13 years) and Lynnal Lopa (7 years) will perform contemporary and Tokelauan music – and their parents couldn’t be prouder.

Others in the line-up include performance poets Dusky Maidens Noble Savages, Smokefree Pacifica Beats winners JahMon Fever from Aotea College, and Blue Rhythm from Porirua College. Ladyfruit flows in and out of hip hop, R&B, jazz and world music with seamless ease – this lady has soul.

Wellington Pasifika Festival, Waitangi Park, 25 January 12noon-6pm, free.