Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Melanesian vibes hit Auckland this Labour weekend

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Photo: Melanesian Festival FB.
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Gladys Hartson | Senior Journalist

Come rain or shine the Melanesian vibes will be alive and well at the 2023 Melanesian Festival Aotearoa this Labour weekend in Auckland.

Communities representing the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Fiji are preparing for a day filled with arts, crafts, traditional dance and Melanesian cuisine for all to sample. 

After the success of the inaugural festival last year, Melanesian Festival Aotearoa director Alipate Traill says he can see it getting stronger and stronger and that this year they have a jam packed programme. 

“We are so excited for this weekend and even now we are still trying to fit in four to five community groups who are  coming from down the line from across the country to be part of the experience.”

Groups from Christchurch and Dunedin, including a group from the Solomon Islands who are part of the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme based in Opotiki, will  showcase their traditional dance. 

Alipate says it is an amazing opportunity to witness not only the dance from the different islands but its importance. 

Vanuatu brought the energy last year to the Melanesian Festival. Photo: Melanesian Festival FB.

“These dances for example from Vanuatu, the custom, dances are not mere entertainment they are a look at the in-depth tribal dances a lot of which hold tribal secrets, customs that are fiercely guarded… we will see snippets of this on display of their culture and pride.”

The festival will also host some of Melanesian’s finest musicians and artists featuring Stegga, Fiakal, Koro Ni Laca Serenaders and Sassy.

Alipate says in the festival’s first year the community waited to see what it was all about. He says now they can see it is about bringing people together.

“It’s an opportunity to get together to enjoy eachothers company and vibe together and share our cultures, our performances and our arts and crafts. 

“And the thing that stood out for us last year was the unity for the brotherhood and sisterhood amongst our people.”

Alipate invites the community to join the celebration this Saturday at the Waitemata Rugby Club grounds in Henderson. 

“Come sample a taste of the island foods and feel the vibes of what the Melanesian Festival Aotearoa has to offer.” 

For more information visit here.

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