18 Mar 2011

Hopes Polyfest can lift spirits of Christchurch students taking part

2:21 pm on 18 March 2011

Christchurch school students affected by February's quake are among those vying to win this year's Auckland Secondary Schools Maori and Pacific Islands Cultural Festival in New Zealand.

The festival's director, Tania Karauria, says she hopes the event has lifted the spirits of the Rangi Ruru students who hadn't been expected to attend.

Polyfest has five main stages focussing on Maori, the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tonga, as well as a diversity stage for other cultures.

Tania Karauria says it shows courage and every culture group at the festival is there to compete and win.

"We're looking for performance excellence and I think its fair to say every year it gets better and better. I know from the Pacific stages, a number of them travel across to the Pacific nations, and they perform over there and I know the local people are blown away at the standard."

Crowds of more than 95,000 people are expected at the four day event, which ends tomorrow.