Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

Sunday service at Pasifika

Worshippers were joined by onlookers at the church service at Western Springs Reserve yesterday. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Worshippers were joined by onlookers at the church service at Western Springs Reserve yesterday. Photo / Brett Phibbs

It was church with a difference at Western Springs yesterday, as 25,000 people turned out to experience the first Pasifika Festival Sunday service.

The festival celebrated its 21st birthday this year and saw an expansion to two days, with the inclusion of a combined Pacific Island church service in the morning.

Around 900 people listened to scripture, choirs and bands.

The service ran for about an hour before Pan Pacific villages, stalls and performance stages opened for the day.

Up to 80,000 people turned out to Saturday's main festival day. A spokesman for the council's Auckland, Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) team said they hoped to continue to hold Pasifika over two days.

"I can guarantee it - we're doing Sunday next year," he said. "It reinforces the fact that there is a place for it on Sunday. People who may have never been able to come on a Saturday or who might like to come to a less packed day will enjoy the Sunday event."

- NZ Herald

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