Location! Location! Location! We are a Pacific nation, though sometimes we forget this. March is the perfect month to focus on the melting pot of Pacific cultures that reside in Aotearoa. It’s a huge month on the Oceanic calendar, with the Pasifika festival, Polyfest and The Māoriland Film Festival being excellent events for family and friends.
Another exciting addition to Auckland’s art scene is the opening of Tautai, the main organisation in Auckland that, for more than 30 years, has promoted Pacific creativity. This March it re-opens its doors to a much larger space, enabling it to exhibit artists’ works on-site.
To immerse yourself in Moana Oceania, make your way through the list below.
Pasifika Festival Western Springs 14–15 March
Experience the sights, sounds and flavours of the South Pacific in Western Springs Park. The Pasifika Festival is the largest Pacific Island cultural festival of its kind in the world and presents incredible performances, delicious food and drink, workshops and more.
The ASB Polyfest The Manukau Sports Bowl 18–21 March
Established in 1976, ASB Polyfest features traditional music, dance, costume and cultural speech competitions, showcasing Aotearoa’s diverse cultures, celebrated through youth performance. Students compete on five stages, performing traditional items from the Cook Islands, Aotearoa, Niue, Samoa and Tonga. With additional performances from a range of cultural groups including Fijian, Tokelau, Chinese, Korean and Indian.
Māoriland Film Festival Ōtaki and Auckland CBD 18–22 March
Throughout March, films and shorts from the Māoriland Film Festival showcases thought-provoking indigenous creativity that moves, heartens and unites. It is the largest presenter of indigenous screen content in the southern hemisphere and can be viewed at the Civic Theatre and Māoriland Hub, in Ōtaki Village.
Curated by Cora-Allan Wickliffe, Moana Currents to Legacy is the inaugural exhibition in Tautai’s upgraded location. Opening alongside a formal event on 26 March, the exhibition is open to the general public from the 27th and features the work from a range of leading contemporary New Zealand and Australian based Pacific artists.