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Pasifika Festival on the move

Press Release – Pasifika Festival

Pasifika Festival will have a new temporary home for 2015, with Hayman Park in Manukau set to be transformed into an enchanting array of Pacific Island villages on 14 15 March.Media release

25 February 2014

Pasifika Festival on the move

Pasifika Festival will have a new temporary home for 2015, with Hayman Park in Manukau set to be transformed into an enchanting array of Pacific Island villages on 14 –15 March.

Now in its 23rd year, Pasifika Festival is the biggest celebration of Pacific Island culture and heritage in the world with over 1,000 performers and 300 stalls.

The festival forms part of the Auckland’s non-stop summer of events, and is being delivered this year by Orange Productions on behalf of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and Auckland Council.

Pasifika Festival 2015 was originally scheduled to take place at Western Springs Park, but has been moved following the discovery of a localised small population of Queensland fruit flies in the Grey Lynn area.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is taking urgent action to eradicate the Queensland fruit fly – a serious insect pest of fruit and vegetable crops – and is confident of success given the resources and expertise involved.

As part of these efforts, MPI has placed restrictions on the movement of whole fresh fruit and some vegetables out of a 1.5km exclusion zone which includes the Pasifika Festival site at Western Springs Park.

Pasifika Festival 2015 will include over 230 food and craft stalls, many of which will serve fresh fruit – a staple of many traditional Pacific Island cuisines.

ATEED and Orange Productions have been in close contact with MPI regarding the potential impact that these restrictions might have on Pasifika Festival.

MPI has advised of the high risk of hosting Pasifika Festival at Western Springs Park, with an estimated crowd of 40,000 people per day likely to attend.

As a result, all parties have reached an agreement to move Pasifika to Hayman Park, which is outside of the exclusion zone, to mitigate and manage the risk that the Queensland fruit fly presents.

Mayor Len Brown says: “Auckland Council is working closely with MPI on the Queensland fruit fly eradication operation, including providing resources and staff expertise. We appreciate the need to act swiftly and decisively.

“To minimise the risk of spreading this devastating insect pest and working on MPI advice, our ATEED team and event organisers Orange Productions have been working hard to find an alternative venue for this year’s Pasifika Festival.

“Hayman Park will be a good temporary home for Pasifika Festival. It offers the right size, scale and accessibility – with excellent links to public transport – to accommodate the cultural performances, food and craft which make Pasifika one of Auckland’s most loved cultural events.

“It also has a similar feel to Western Springs Park, with mature trees and a layout that lends itself to the village format that Pasifika Festival is famous for – I am looking forward to another great Pasifika Festival.”

Pasifika Festival would like to acknowledge the support of its sponsors and supporters including Stuff.co.nz, Frucor, MaiFM, Tip Top, Pacific Media Network, Globug, Unitec, More FM, the U.S Embassy, Air New Zealand and more.

To find out more about Pasifika Festival 2015 visit www.aucklandnz.com/pasifika.

Ends

Notes to editors:

• Pasifika Festival takes place at Hayman Park, Manukau, on 14 March (10am-5pm) and 15 March (8.45am-4pm) 2015.

• Hayman Park is well serviced by public transport – located in the heart of Manukau, the park is in close proximity to Manukau train station and a bus hub.

• Pasifika Festival is free entry on both days and suitable for all ages.

• Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Aotearoa, Hawai’i, Kiribati, Samoa, Tahiti, Tuvalu, Tonga, Tokelau and Melanesia will take part in the festival.

• Live performances and workshops include; hula dancing, hat weaving, ukelele lessons, drumming and carving.

• Pasifika Festival 2015 is jam-packed with highlights, including:

o The Hawaiian Village back for a second year after debuting in 2014, while a new Melanesian Village will be showcasing food and craft from Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands on Sunday, 15 March.

o Watermelon sundaes will be back by popular demand in the Tongan Village, a perfect treat after a paua fritter found in the Aotearoa Village.

o There will be plenty of fun planned to keep children amused and the Mai FM crew will be onsite with their photo booth and giveaways.

o Demonstrations will showcase the uniqueness of Pacific crafts and the skills mastered to make them.

o Those who like to get involved will be spoilt for choice with activities, from hat weaving and hula dancing to ukelele and drum lessons.

o The interdenominational church service which is open to the public will take place in the Tongan Village on Sunday, 14 March from 8.45am with amazing singing from choir groups, the service entertains and includes a family focused message. It is not to be missed.

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