News | 14 January 2019
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A taste of the Pacific is coming to the capital

The annual Wellington Pasifika Festival will be showcasing the sights, sounds, and flavours of the Pacific at Odlins Plaza on Saturday 19 January – and everyone’s welcome/afio mai/bula/ulu tons mai/kia orana/welkam.

Pasifika image

The event attracts over 15,000 visitors each year, to experience traditional and contemporary music, performances, delicious food, and activities from Samoa, Cook Islands, Tonga, Niue, Fiji, Tokelau, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea.

The free whanau friendly event will be hosted by Mai Nights’ Brook Ruscoe, and the line-up will include the award-winning Punialava’a, Australian indigenous storyteller Mojo Juju, and super soul vocalist Bella Kalolo, who brings her Samoan, Tongan and Māori heritage to the stage.

Mayor Justin Lester says the Pasifika Festival is another highlight for him and his family from the Summer City programme – celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

“You can’t beat the kai, sounds and colour of the Pacific, and we’re so lucky to have it on our doorstep. This event celebrates that, and the rich tapestry of Pacific cultures, giving us all the chance to share and sample all the area has to offer.”

As well as providing festival goers with tasty treats, the food providers will go head to head in the always entertaining Pacific Cuisine Cook-Off, with judges including MP Paul Eagle making the difficult decisions on the best dishes of the day. 

Visitors to the event can also hop aboard the Wellington Pasifika Festival film bus to enjoy screenings of short films showcasing the colourful stories of the Pacific, presented by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision and supported by the New Zealand Film Commission.

Also, as part of the Pasifika celebrations, award winning artist Telly Tuita will be creating a new themed artwork for the power box on the corner of Cuba and Vivian Streets.

Pasifika Festival 2019 | Free entry

When: Saturday 19 January 2019

Time: 12 noon–6pm

Where: Odlins Plaza