28 Oct 2016

NZ Pasifika strengths on show

10:30 am on 28 October 2016

New Zealand's Bay of Plenty will get a taste of Pacific culture today.

The Pasifika in the Bay Festival is being held for the second time in the region.

About 300 students from 15 primary and secondary schools, and kindergartens will be performing at the event in Mt Maunganui.

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Hundreds of students will perform at Mt Maunganui today as part of the Pasifika in the Bay festival. Photo: AFP

Event organiser Melanie Cottingham said the event shows the strength of the Pacific community in the Bay of Plenty, which is one of the fastest growing in New Zealand.

"I'm a teacher at Arataki School, 6 percent of our children here are Pacific Island," she said.

"This kind of event, we had our first Pasifika in the Bay Festival last year, and there I think everybody was quite surprised to see how many Pacific Island children there are actually are in the area, it's kind of like a day when we can go, oh gosh yes there are quite a few of us."

Ms Cottingham said the festival will help foster relationships between schools and the Pacific community in keeping with the Education Ministry's Pasifika plan.