The opening night of the Pasifika festival at Western Springs in Auckland will be proceeding.
After a funding shortfall the Auckland City Council cancelled the traditional Pasifika opening night. But the Pacific Islands Board Auckland City (PIBAC) and the Pacific community rallied together and last week announced that they would be funding the opening night themselves. The event will take place at the Western Springs venue on Friday 13th.
This is despite the short-sighted penny-pinching of the rightards from Citizens and Ratepayers (NACT’s local government party) like David Hay who wanted to shut down the festival. Despite protestations of support from Georgina HeuHeu and Gerry Brownlee, the blanket penny-pinching by the NACT government trying to prevent government organizations from sponsoring this important event nearly shut it down.
Now in its 17th year, the two-day festival in March at Western Springs attracts more than 200,000 people from around the country and the Pacific.
“Auckland City gets thousands of money on that weekend,” said Mr McCarthy.
But this year sees the festival being cut short after Auckland deputy mayor David Hay moved to cancel the entire festival because of a $355,000 shortfall.
“If Friday doesn’t happen, then the Saturdays will die – if we don’t respond to this, there won’t be anything next year,” Mr McCarthy said.
Despite this obstructionism from the idiot right, there has been a great effort by the organizers to keep the festival running. A great kudos to those who helped get this event off the ground, including their eventual sponsors. Hopefully the promise of a more traditional opening night means that Aucklanders will not have to suffer John Banks pandering to get votes as he did last year. I’d suggest that Aucklanders and visitors should actively get out this weekend and participate in the programme of events.
It is a lot more relevant to modern day New Zealand than the current distraction by NACT of a supposed link to the British monarch. How much are they spending on that? It would have been better put on something that is part of my cultural heritage as an Aucklander.