What: Pasifika Festival
When: Today 10am-8pm. Tomorrow 10am-4pm.
Don't forget: Your mask if using public transport, a drink bottle and possibly an umbrella.
Auckland will welcome back one of its biggest annual events, the Pasifika Festival, this weekend - and this time at a new venue.
Celebrating all things Pasifika since 1993, this year's event will be held at Mt Smart Stadium today and tomorrow, instead of the usual venue at Western Springs.
Traditional foods, tastes and sounds from around the Pacific region will be represented in eight villages around the stadium - from Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Fiji, Niue, the Cook Islands and Aotearoa.
The eighth village, dubbed Fale Pasifika, will host the islands of Hawaii and Kiribati.
Each island stage will feature a host of entertainment, arts and crafts and workshops throughout the weekend - and includes some of New Zealand's and the Pacific's hottest talents such as Tomorrow People, Brotherhood Musiq, Tree, Ben Makisi, Wayno and singing legend Fiji Veikoso.
Among the many groups participating is Ura Tabu, a dance collective made up of Pasifika and Māori women specialising in traditional siva (dance) from the Pacific region - but with a creative edge.
Creative director Charlene Tedrow said they were excited to be performing back at Pasifika.
"Our team of women are very special in that they embrace the discipline of dance - not just to fa'afiafia (entertain) and smile, but to showcase our different cultures.
"We dance, yes, but we are grounded in the roots of traditional dance."
The group performs a mix of siva from Samoa, Tahiti, the Cook Islands and Tahiti. They will take to the stage today at the Fale Pasifika Hawaii and Samoan villages; and again tomorrow at the Samoan stage.
Pasifika makes its much-anticipated return after being cancelled for two consecutive years - firstly in 2019, as a result of the Christchurch mosques tragedy and then last year because of the Covid-19 lockdown.
People heading to the festival are encouraged to use public transport if possible, to avoid congestion and parking hassles. Anyone set to use public transport is reminded they must wear a mask.
An umbrella looks like a must-have today, at least, with the weather forecast to bring rain in the morning with the possibility of it being heavy this afternoon.
Tomorrow's forecast is much better, with fine breaks developing after isolated showers in the morning and a high of 24C on the cards.
How to get there
Regular bus services will run via Great South Road past the Penrose train station throughout the day.
The 66 frequent crosstown service, 670 and 743 bus services travel via Mt Smart Stadium. Normal bus fares do apply.
Train services on the Onehunga and Southern Line will go to the Penrose train station - which is walking distance to Mt Smart Stadium.
That walk should take between 10 to 15 minutes.
Buses are set to replace Southern Line trains between Penrose and Pukekohe and Eastern Line trains between Sylvia Park and Manukau (buses will connect at Panmure).
While trains will run as normal on the Western and Onehunga lines.
For those coming into the city centre via ferry services, head down to Britomart to catch the train to the Penrose Station.
Normal fares apply for train and ferry trips.
Source: Auckland Transport