Anyone who has grown up in Auckland during the past 20 to 30 years will most likely have been to or at least heard of the Pasifika Festival.
The much-loved event, usually held at Western Springs Park, celebrates its 30th birthday this year.
It officially launches with a weekend of Pasifika performances, arts and crafts, activities and island food at The Cloud, downtown Auckland, this long weekend.
Having been cancelled in March due to Covid restrictions at the time, organisers have come up with a month-long celebration instead, this month, that will see the traditional event effectively moving around the city over each weekend in June.
The festival was established in 1992 when then Herald journalist Roy Vaughan came up with the idea after being inspired during his time as the newspaper's Pacific Affairs reporter.
What was thought would be an event that would attract a few within the community turned out to be a huge hit and, before Covid, has seen the event grow into a huge affair regularly attracting just over 100,000 people each year.
A person who has had a long involvement in the festival is well-respected Pacific broadcaster and Cook Islands village co-ordinator Bernard Tairea.
In 2003, having arrived in New Zealand the year before, Tairea's experienced his first festival while doing work there as a radio broadcaster on Niu FM and Radio 531PI.
"It opened my eyes to a lot of things...because I'd not seen it before and I had not immersed myself in such a large expansion of our Pacific population," he said.
"We loved it - the fanfare, the music, the food, the entertainment (and) the culture was so much alive and it just blew me away."
Tairea remembers coming away from that first festival feeling inspired.
"After that experience, it left a very good impression on me, I vowed to definitely be a part of it - to continue with this celebration.
Not long afterwards, Tairea was approached to be the village co-ordinator for the Cook Islands village - one of several Pacific Island villages represented at the event. It was a role he happily accepted.
He speaks about the early years he was involved with the festival and the way things have changed over the years - not just with the festival itself, but the change in the foods, as well as the contemporary island dance seen on stage.
In recent years, the Pasifika Festival has been affected for various reasons.
It had to be moved from Western Springs one year because of a fruit fly infestation in the area, and was cancelled after the mosque terrorist attacks in Christchurch in 2019.
In the past two years, the festival has had to be cancelled or postponed because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions.
Blending the old and the new
Organisers this year decided to continue the event after it was cancelled in March because of the then 100-people gathering limit.
Instead, every weekend this month there will be a celebration of all things Pacific in the revamped Pasifika - dubbed Taste of Pasifika, this year - at various locations around Auckland.
The first part of the festival will be held this weekend at The Cloud in downtown Auckland with all of the traditional festival's favourite performances, food stalls, arts and crafts and other activities available from today.
Tairea said he was excited to see the big changes to the traditional festival this year.
"This will be something new and it's an exciting challenge for us to see and experience," he said.
"It's going to be an awesome time for us to share the technology of the new and the young ... and we blend it together with the old."
• For more information and a programme of events, visit: Taste of Pasifika