A smattering of rain hasn't stopped tens of thousands of people turning out for the annual Pasifika festival, which celebrated its 26th birthday today.

The Western Springs, Auckland, festivities kicked off the weekend with crowds of around 60,000 expected to eat their way around 11 Pasifika villages today and tomorrow.

National leader Simon Bridges and his team of MPs were among the crowd attending the annual event, with Bridges spotted having a go on the drums.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and Green MPs Golriz Ghahraman and Marama Davidson, also tweeted their enjoyment.


Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (Ateed) is hosting the event, which comprises arts, crafts, stalls, food and entertainment from the Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Tonga, Tokelau, Tahiti, Samoa, Niue, Hawaii, Kiribati, Aotearoa and Fiji.

Ateed event production manager Leisa Siteine said the two major parties had delegations at the event, and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff was also there.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the Pasifika Festival at Western Springs today. Photo / Getty Images
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the Pasifika Festival at Western Springs today. Photo / Getty Images

"This morning was quite hot and sunny so before 1pm it was brilliant. It just went off, as we expected, and there are lots of people here," Siteine said.

"The rain settled in at 1pm but people are still here under the trees with umbrellas. It's made the site a little more unpleasant than normal, and obviously the Pasifika feeling is having some sunshine."

People coming tomorrow should consider Auckland weather and bring both sunscreen, and an umbrella, she said.

As part of the festival Vector Lights will be putting on light shows on the Harbour Bridge between 8pm and midnight until Tuesday.

Ateed wouldn't have attendance numbers until much later.

"I would expect it's a little bit lower because of the rain but that's part and parcel of having an event in Auckland's outdoors," Siteine said.




WHEN : Saturday, March 24-Sunday, March 25, 9am-5pm.

WHERE: Western Springs Park, Auckland.

WHAT: Food and crafts from: Aotearoa, Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, Niue, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Fiji, Cook Islands, Tahiti and Kiribati.

TIPS: Take public transport and don't forget a hat, water bottle, sunscreen and good walking shoes.