The 2013 staging of the ASB Polyfest proved to be an outstanding success with the festival featuring fine weather, brilliant cultural performances, and a few surprising results on stage.
The 38th running of the ASB Polyfest at the Manukau Sports Bowl from the 13th – 16th of March had fine weather for the majority of the festival, with some light drizzle on Saturday. This abundance of sunshine put performers and patrons in a positive mood throughout the festival’s four days.
ASB Polyfest Event Director – Theresa Howard was delighted with her first festival in charge saying – “this year’s ASB Polyfest exceeded my expectations. The weather was fantastic, the crowd well behaved throughout the festival, and the performances on the stages of a very high standard.”
Howard went on to say – “there were also a few upsets on stage, with not all competitions going with the traditional favourites.”
The University of Auckland Samoan Stage Co-ed school section (Tama ma Teine) was won this year by Manurewa High School with Tamaki College second, after this section had dominated by Avondale College or Otahuhu College for the past eleven years. The Boys section (Tama) was won by St Pauls College, and the Girls section (Teine) won by Auckland Girls Grammar School.
The Waka Pacific Cook Islands Stage saw Mangere College back on top after finishing third last year. They beat traditional rivals Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate for the overall Cook Islands title with Tangaroa College finishing third.
The powerhouses of Auckland secondary school kapa haka did battle on the Saturday of the festival with Nga Puna o Waiorea Western Springs College taking out Division One on the Hapai Te Hauora Maori Stage for the second consecutive year. Kura Matua school – Te Kapunga James Cook High School finished runner-up with Kahurangi ki Maungawhau Auckland Girls Grammar in third spot. Division Two was taken out by Nga Oho o Waiorea Western Springs College, while Division Three was won by Te Puutake James Cook High School
The MIT Niue Stage saw the sights and sounds of the island of Niue through speeches and traditional Niuean dance. Auckland Girls Grammar was judged the best overall school group, after finishing third last year.
The NZMA Tongan Stage featured huge crowds and the vibrant dances of Tonga. The Mako & Ma’ulu’ulu was won by Sacred Heart College, the Kailoa by Wesley College, the Tau’olunga by Marist High School, the Taufakaniua & Lakalaka by Otahuhu College, the Faha’iula by Baradene College, the Soke by Auckland Girls Grammar and the Tau’a’alo’o Ahoeitu by Sir Edmund Hilary Collegiate.
The Diversity Stage had the most number of groups with 55 groups performing dances from a range of cultures including Chinese, Fijian, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Korean, Thai, and Tuavalean over two days.
So – four days of colour and culture at the 2013 ASB Polyfest are now over, with performers and public now looking forward to the 39th running of this iconic cultural festival in 2014.