St Paul’s Collegiate School’s Polynesian group joined with neighbours, Fairfield College, to perform at the Waikato Bay of Plenty Pasifika by Nature festival at the Claudelands Events Centre on Saturday, 6 May.
Now in its nineteenth year, the festival aims to share and preserve Pasifika cultures with secondary school students, through dance and music.
The driving force behind the school merge, Evia Nakarawa (Year 13), came up with the idea after struggling to find enough people for a full ensemble at St Paul’s.
For their set, the students performed a traditional Cook Islands dance, followed by a Samoan song sung by Talitha Patrick (Year 13).
Teacher-in-charge, Mathew Hewett, says the 3500 strong crowd “transformed into Waitomo caves” as people waved their phones in time with Talitha’s song.
The group also performed Tongan and Fijian acts to round out their 30-minute set.
Mr Hewett says the team left the stage “with their heads held high to the roar of applause and a truly satisfied crowd.”