Next week will be one of fun, culture, and sport, with events planned in the week building up to the Māori All Blacks taking on Fiji at the Rotorua International Stadium.

Ahurei Pasifika is on from Monday to next Saturday - the day of the match.

Rotorua Lakes Council stadium events and sports adviser Tia Smith said there was a great week of events planned as part of Ahurei Pasifika.

These include Horohopu – Give it a go day and a pool party at the Rotorua Aquatic Centre.


She encouraged people to get along to some of the open training sessions for both the Fijians and Māori All Blacks.

People can also be part of welcoming the Flying Fijians to Rotorua by heading along to a pōhiri on Tuesday , noon, at Te Papaiōuru Marae, Ōhinemutu.

There is also a rugby holiday programme as part of the festivities, which has seen great support and is now full.

Ahurei Pasifika event assistants Salaseini Kaitani (left) and He'lena Dou'ble at Rotorua International Stadium. Photo / Shauni James
Ahurei Pasifika event assistants Salaseini Kaitani (left) and He'lena Dou'ble at Rotorua International Stadium. Photo / Shauni James

Smith said the week would be wrapped up with the Ahurei Pasifika Celebration - a day to taste the flavours of the islands and hear sounds from the Pacific before heading in to watch the game.

The free celebration is next Saturday from noon to 6pm at the Westbrook Fields, Thebes Rd before the match.

"With the honour of hosting this match in Rotorua, it made sense to also use this as an opportunity to promote and celebrate the diverse cultures in Rotorua, in particular our Pacific community.

"The variety of events were created with the community in mind and creating events that are accessible, in particular to our families. In most case all events are free or a small fee."

Smith encouraged people to get behind the events and the celebration because it was a great way to "start your game journey, as I call it".


"The game doesn't start when you walk through the gates, it starts when you arrive in your car in the carpark, hence the choice of location.

"The celebration is a great connection with that journey and with all that is the Pacific."

She asked that people remember to bring cash along to the celebration, because no eftpos would be available.

Smith said next door, on the opposite field to the Ahurei Pasifika Celebration, would be the Māori All Blacks U18 Trials from 11.30am to 2.30pm.

People can keep an eye on the Rotorua Events Facebook page for the announcement of events which will feature some of the players.

Ahurei Pasifika is being run by the council with the support of Rotorua Pacific Islands Development Trust.

- The Māori All Blacks will play Fiji on Saturday, July 20 at Rotorua International Stadium. The curtainraiser is at 5pm and the main event at 7.35pm.
- For more information on the events for Ahurei Pasifika go to the Rotorua Events Facebook page.