Auckland's Pasifika Festival rescheduled for next month, first time event will go ahead in two years

Auckland’s widely popular Pasifika Festival has been rescheduled for next month - the first time the event has been held since 2018. 

Pasifika performers at the 2018 Pasifika Festival at Western Springs in Auckland. Source: ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development)

The event was postponed following the Government's announcement yesterday that Auckland will move down to Alert Level 2 from 6am on Sunday until at least Friday, March 12. The rest of the country will move down to Alert Level 1 at the same time. 

The event can only go ahead under Alert Level 1, organisers say.

The festival, which was originally planned to take place on March 13-14 at Western Springs Park, will now take place on April 10-11 at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland Unlimited said today in a media release.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says he’s pleased the festival can go ahead.

“Pasifika is a much-loved festival and an important celebration of Auckland’s vibrant Pacific cultures,” he said in today's statement.

"I'm happy that Auckland Unlimited, our Pacific community leaders, organisers and festival stakeholders have been able to work together to confirm a new date.

"I look forward to attending Pasifika this year and enjoying all the performances, music, art, culture and heritage the festival offers."

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Jacinda Ardern said, however, that the Ministry of Health's advice on other mass gatherings "has not changed".

Auckland Unlimited head of major events, Richard Clarke, says the festival is a "hugely popular celebration of our region’s Pacific communities," and event organisers are "determined to give ourselves every opportunity to deliver a great and safe event this year".

Clarke says while Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern indicated yesterday that Auckland may shift to Alert Level 1 next weekend, the move is not guaranteed.

“We haven’t been able to hold Pasifika since 2018, so moving the event dates will give us the best chance of Auckland being able to enjoy another fantastic festival,” he says.

Clarke says community leaders and event partners have helped "explore all options" since Auckland's move to Level 3 restrictions.

"They support our decision to postpone and will be working with our experienced event production team on the new plans to deliver the festival at a later date."