24 Mar 2017

Should Pasifika Fest move to South Auckland?

8:41 pm on 24 March 2017

An Auckland councillor is pushing for the Pasifika Festival to be moved south to the heart of the Pacific community.

Pasifika festival in Auckland

Pasifika festival in Auckland Photo: ATEED

However, a co-founder defends its central city location.

Pasifika, the largest Pacific Island cultural festival in the world, is at Western Springs Park this weekend.

It has been held there for 24 of its 25 years.

In 2015 it moved to Hayman Park in Manukau after a fruitfly outbreak.

Councillor Fa'anana Efeso Collins said Pasifika should permanently move to South Auckland, where the Pacific community lived, to break down social barriers.

He said visitors would have a richer and more authentic experience.

Co-founder Roy Vaughan said the central city location had an important historical connection with the Pacific.

The park had a memorial to the American soldiers who were the first to go the Soloman Islands to halt the Japanese advance on Samoa.

He said if they had not held the line at Guadalcanal and brought the Japanese to a standstill at Tarua, there would be no Pasifika.