Local Board to sponsor pitch to keep Pasifika Festival
This year owing to the Fruit Fly saga in Grey Lynn the Pasifika Festival was moved from its historic home in Western Springs to Hayman Park in Manukau City Centre.
The festival while quieter owing to a few factors was still rated a success – and a boost to the local economy.
So being somewhat expected the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board are preparing a pitch to keep Pasifika in South Auckland from next year.
From NZ Herald:
South Auckland community bid to keep Pasifika Festival9:24 AM Tuesday Apr 21, 2015 Vaimoana Tapaleao
•Established in 1992.
•Traditionally held at Western Springs Park, Auckland.
•The event regularly attracts up to 50,000 people.
•Was moved for the first time to Hayman Park, Manukau, this year because of restrictions relating to the Queensland fruit fly scare.
A community meeting with the Auckland Council tomorrow is expected to drum up big support for keeping the Pasifika Festival permanently in South Auckland.
Otara-Papatoetoe local board chairman Fa’anana Efeso Collins has called the meeting in a bid to “change things up”, he said.
“It’s really just to give the community some input into it, because a lot of people are saying, ‘Is the festival still ours? Do we own it’?”
The meeting will encourage members of the public and community leaders to give their thoughts about this year’s festival.
“Auckland is more than the CBD. I’m wanting (the council) to consider the location of Pasifika remaining in Manukau – which is not only culturally fitting, but is a place of substantial growth desperately in need of a significant event like Pasifika.”
Auckland Council’s tourism, events and economic development (Ateed) group is in charge of running the event and this year out-sourced private events company The Orange Group to deliver it.
It is understood an Ateed representative will be at tomorrow’s meeting.
Mangere MP Su’a William Sio said he and a number of Pacific Island MPs from South Auckland – including Louisa Wall and Jenny Salesa – had sent a letter to mayor Len Brown following this year’s festival.
Keeping the Pasifika Festival in Manukau does have its merits but so does the historic Western Springs site. With Western Springs being next door to Grey Lynn (which was thee historic area for Auckland Pacific People who immigrated to New Zealand) I can see the arguments based on that history to keep Pasifika at Western Springs. However, if the transport card was played then Manukau would trump straight away with it being connected by the rail lines, buses, and two motorways.
Also South Auckland does have history with the Pacific Peoples as well especially with the gentrification in Grey Lynn and mass immigration policies of the mid 20th Century (and I know there is some dark moments in that history as well (the Gentrification and later the Dawn Raids). So there is that in the mix as well.
Economic wise that could go either way. Pasifika being in Manukau City Centre (so a commercial area) does have potential flow on effects to surrounding businesses to the point it could kick start urban renewal in the wider area.
It will be interesting to see which way the pitch goes and the Council’s reaction. And yes sure I am going to be bias in wanting Pasifika in Manukau too 😉