News | 8 February 2023
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Taste of the Pacific comes to the capital

Enjoy the sights, sounds and taste of the Pacific at the Wellington Pasifika Festival at Waitangi Park from midday this Saturday 11 February.

Pasifika Festival performers on stage in front of large crowd on Wellington Waterfront.

The annual festival is a highlight on the summer events calendar, attracting over 15,000 people each year, and with so many activities, food stalls, traditional crafts and performers lined-up, visitors will be transported to the Pacific for the day.

The wide-ranging programme includes performers from all over the Pacific like opera legend Ben Makisi, the soulful sounds of Mo Etc., the Mafutaga Tagata Matutua Senior Exercise Group, Tautua Dance, and Tīwhanawhana, a takatāpui community group that welcomes people of diverse sexualities and gender identity.

The free, whānau friendly event will be hosted by Mai FM’s Fame and Randy, the Wellington Saints will be running basketball activities throughout the day, and the Pacific Cuisine Cook-Off will test the skills of the food stalls through a local celebrity judging panel.

Mayor Tory Whanau says this event is the perfect way to spend the day celebrating our diversity and combined cultures, and what better way to do that than with kai, kōrero and waiata.

“I’m really looking forward to this day, as it’s one of the most vibrant, multi-cultural and entertaining festivals in town – and judging the Pacific Cuisine Cook-Off this year has already tantalised my tastebuds.”

Pasifika Festival performers on stage in front of large crowd on Wellington Waterfront.

Ben Makisi says there is a difference between performing at home and abroad.


“It’s a lot more sentimental coming home to perform. When I am abroad I feel a pride and joy to share my talent and cultural heritage to the world. I love it when my audiences abroad always compliment me and share their love and experiences from Aotearoa New Zealand.


“I look forward to coming home to perform for those who will be attending the festival.”


Full programme


Āhea | When: 12 noon to 6pm, Saturday 11 February
Ki hea | Where: Waitangi Park, Wellington waterfront

12 noon – Opening/Blessing
12.15pm – Tīwhanawhana
12.25pm – Akatokomanava Organisation of Wellington Inc.
12.35pm – Kiribati St Joseph Community
12.45pm – Mafutaga Tagata Matutua Senior Exercise Group
1.15pm – Wellington Solomon Islands Community
1.25pm – Atuhau Tupuhake Niue Culture Group
1.35pm – Tausala Pasefika
1.45pm – Makatu'unga He 'Ofa Community
1.55pm – Tokelau Hutt Valley Sports & Culture Association
2.05pm – Pacific Cuisine Cook-Off
2.40pm – Tautua Dance
3.05pm – Mo Etc.
3.35pm – Wayno
4.05pm – A.R.T
4.35pm – Ex Nihilo Gospel Band
5.05pm – KaSeki
5.35pm – Ben Makisi
6pm – Closing blessing