Manukau Courier : March 4th 2014
www.manukaucourier.co.nz NEWS Go to manukaucourier.co.nz and click on Latest Edition to see a video of the launch event. MANUKAU COURIER, MARCH 4, 2014 7 Recordbreaking: A record 62 schools will take part in the 2014 ASB Polyfest, organised by event director Theresa Howard. Polyfest set to break all the records By TAO LIN The countdown is on for thousands of students around Auckland in the leadup to this year’s ASB Polyfest. Now in its 39th year, the world’s largest Maori and Pacific Island festival was officially launched last week at ASB’s head office in Auckland. More than 9000 students from a record 62 schools are expected to perform over four days at the Manukau Sports Bowl – a huge growth from the inaugural festival in 1976, when just four schools took part. It will be the second Polyfest organised by event director Theresa Howard, who performed at the event in 2001. The former St Dominic’s College student says the festival teaches students a lot more than just performance skills. Passionate performers: Students from this year’s ASB Polyfest host school, Western Springs College, give a preview at the official event launch of what they’ll be bringing to the festival. ➤WHEREANDWHEN The 2014 ASB Polyfest takes place from March 12 to 15 at the Manukau Sports Bowl, 1 Te Irirangi Drive. Entry is $5, preschool children free. ■ Go to asbpolyfest.co.nz for more information. ‘‘To learn of leadership, respect, discipline, hard work and whanau, a lead-up to an event like the ASB Polyfest can really shape an individual into a positive role model,’’ Ms Howard says. She takes the most pride in seeing student performances come together after months of preparation and also seeing Polyfest grow. ‘‘I once took the stage in this event and to see how far it’s come, that’s the most rewarding part of it,’’ she says. It’ll be a significant event for Aorere College students, who missed the festival last year. Teacher Ngatia Vaike says the school, which will have 50 students performing across six ethnic groups, has taken on the responsibility of hosting one of the six stages. The event also coincides with the school’s 50th jubilee celebrations this year. Year 13 student Robert Paniani is looking forward to performing and says the school is coming back stronger than ever before. ‘‘Polyfest is nothing with- out Aorere,’’ he says. It’ll also be ASB’s 30th consecutive year as the event’s naming rights sponsor, making it one of the longest event partnerships in the country. ASB head of community and sponsorship Mark Graham says the bank is pleased to support Polyfest. Photos: BEN CAMPBELL ‘‘We’re a bank that services the whole of the population so it’s important for us to demonstrate support of the community through events like the Polyfest. ‘‘We have been supporting this unique festival since 1985 and are proud to be part of celebrating Auckland’s cultural identity and heritage alongside so many diverse Kiwi cultures.’’ This year’s theme is ‘‘Care for our seas and our lands so that the safety of our homes, both present and past, endures forever’’.
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