A festival which has encouraged people to celebrate their Pacific heritage is on again in Whangārei.

The sixth annual Pasifika Fusion Festival means Northlanders won't need to leave the region to get a taste of the Pacific Islands tomorrow, they'll just need to head to Hihiaua Peninsula.

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Pasifika Fusion Festival lights up peninsula
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Festival director Pania Moulton said the event was growing in popularity.


"It started off as a small group of Pasifika people wanting to share our culture, and each year it has just grown. It's its uniqueness. Because we still try to keep grass roots, we don't try to go too commercial," she said.

Each year a different Pasifika village/island hosts the event.

This year there are nine villages/islands, and Niue is hosting - this was particularly special to Moulton because she is of Niuean-Samoan heritage.

"I've always known I was Niuean-Samoan and I'm slowly learning my Samoan side. And it's quite funny because I've connected to the various ones within the community and we're cousins, and it's not distant cousins, we're quite close cousins."

Moulton said the Pasifika population in Northland was on the rise.

"My nana came to Tai Tokerau in 1937 when she married into the family. Listening to my nana, and listening to my mum and her siblings, back then they were teased because they were Māori and Pacific Islander."

But Moulton said the Pasifika Fusion Festival encouraged people to learn more about their Pacific culture.

The festival will feature kai, and entertainment from each village. It will be hosted by brothers Glen Jackson and Haanz Fa'avae Jackson from the villages of Hakupu, Mutalau and Alofi Toga in Niue. Both have performing arts backgrounds.


Moulton said the passport competition, where festival-goers are invited to collect passport stamps from each village and community stall, is running again this year with top prizes up for grabs - including return flights to Niue.

The Pasifika Fusion Festival is on tomorrow from 10am to 4pm at Hihiaua Peninsula.