Polyfest celebrated its 41st anniversary in March and attracted t around 9000 students and up to 100,000 spectators from around New Zealand.
“It is a highlight in the Pacific events calendar. This festival means a lot to Pacific families. Families return each year to watch their young ones perform, just as they did when they were at high school,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
New Zealand’s Pacific Peoples are the country’s fastest growing youth population, with almost half (46.1%) of the population under 20-years-old.
“Hundreds of young performers are on stage at Polyfest cheered on by their families and peers and this helps encourage young people to hold onto their culture. This kind of cultural legacy instils mana, pride and belonging for Pacific young people,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.