7 May 2016

NZ Pasifika community growing outside Auckland

7:02 pm on 7 May 2016

An organiser of a Polynesian festival in New Zealand says the Pasifika community is growing outside Auckland as the city becomes too expensive to live in.

Hamilton.

As Auckland gets too expensive many Pacific communities are moving to the nearby city of Hamilton and surrounding regions. Photo: PHOTO NZ

About 600 students from 13 schools competed in the Pasifika by Nature Festival in Hamilton in the Waikato region, to the south of Auckland, on Saturday.

Organiser Mareta Matenga said about two-thousand people were expected to come along to support the performers who showcased cultures from around the Pacific.

She said the strength of the festival reflects the growth of the Pacific community in Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

"We are finding that actually a lot of people, and housing goes up and families can't afford to live in South Auckland, we are finding that a lot of people are commuting and finding Hamilton an affordable space to live."

Mareta Matenga said the Cook Island and Samoan communities were strong in Tokoroa in South Waikato, and growing in Rotorua in Bay of Plenty.

She said there is also a strong Melanesian contingent of seasonal workers in Bay of Plenty.