History of Pasifika

The Pasifika Festival began in 1992, and has grown into one of Auckland’s biggest cultural events.

The Pasifika Festival came to life through a joint initiative between the then Auckland City Council and the South Pacific Island Nations Development Association. The Festival aimed to bring Pacific Island communities closer together and to celebrate the richness and variety of their values, culture and lifestyles. The village concept was introduced in 1998 as a way of demonstrating each Pacific Island’s diversity.

History of Pasifika

  • 1992 – First Pasifika event
  • 1993 – A Pacific Island fashion show and theatre performances were introduced. Over 20,000 people attended in only the Festival’s second year.
  • 1995 to 2000 - An estimated 30,000 to 50,000 people attended each year.
  • 2001 – A record number of people attended the Festival. The initiative to perform an opening night concert, showcasing the Pacific talent scheduled to perform on the Festival day won the Creative New Zealand’s Creative Places Award in 2001.
  • 2002 to 2004 - Community stallholder numbers exceeded 300 for the first time. It’s estimated that over $1 million changed hands during the 2002 Festival.
  • 2007 celebrated the Festival’s 15th anniversary, and Pasifika won the Best Established Event Award from NZAEP (New Zealand Association of Event Professionals).
  • 2010 – Introduced a six-day programme, including a number of ticketed events at other venues, some of the best acts from performer auditions, and 'Po' - a tribal pop opera by Mika.
  • Since 2011, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) has delivered the Pasifika Festival with the essential support of Auckland’s Pacific Island community. A Village co-ordinator from each Pasifika Festival village is to create approved menus; only authentic dishes that showcase traditional cuisine from the respective island nations are chosen for these menus and presented by stallholders.
  • 2015 - For the first time Pasifika took place at a different venue. With the discovery of a small population of Australian fruit fly, the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) put restrictions on the movement of fresh produce out of the Grey Lynn area which included Western Springs Park.The decision was made in the weeks leading up to the festival to relocate to a temporary new location at Hayman Park in Manukau.

To contact Pasifika organisers email pasifika@aucklandnz.com

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED)

Pasifika is one of several major cultural events on Auckland’s major events calendar, forming part of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) summer of events, and this year the festival is being delivered by Orange Productions.

ATEED is an Auckland Council controlled organisation that aims to improve New Zealand’s economic prosperity, by leading the successful transformation of Auckland’s economy. ATEED facilitates tourism, major events, business and industry sector development and activities to attract investment.

Find out more about ATEED