One of the South Island's biggest arts and cultural events,
the Otago Early Childhood and Schools Maori and Pacific
Island Festival (Polyfest), is being held this week.
The festival, in its 20th year, began on Tuesday night with a
performance by Pacific musicians Adeaze and Seth Haapu at the
About 5000 pupils from Otago primary and secondary schools
will perform this week.
Festival chairman and Bathgate Park School principal Whetu
Cormick said the performances had taken months of preparation
and were of high quality this year.
The festival was important in showcasing Maori and Pacific
cultures as well as giving pupils a chance to learn more
about the cultures, he said.
''It is a good opportunity for every child from any ethnic
background to experience the Maori and Pacific culture,'' Mr
The festival would attract an audience of about 4000 people,
Some primary schools performed yesterday, and others will be
on stage from 8.30am today.
This evening, high school participants will take the stage.
Dances will include the Maori haka, the Samoan sasa and the
The festival continues tomorrow from 8.30am.