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First ever Melanesian Festival in New Zealand

Fakaalofa lahi atu!

The Melanesian Festival will take place this Saturday 22 October from 9am to 5pm at the Waitemata Rugby Club Grounds in Henderson, Auckland.

There are around 23,000 Melanesians living in Aotearoa.

Fijians make up the bulk of the population but there are also ni-Vanuatu, Solomon Islanders, Papua New Guineans, West Papuans and Kanaks from New Caledonia.

The founder and director of the Melanesian Festival, Joana Monolagi, said after years of planning and lots of patience it's wonderful the event is finally happening.

"From the people that I have spoken to through this planning they have come and voiced their feelings to me and their views are that it's been a long time coming. They've been praying and waiting for something to showcase Melanesia."

The festival will include food stalls, arts and craft displays and cultural performances.

One of the groups which will be performing is the Papuan Student Association Oceania, led by Laurens Ikinia.

Ikinia said he's grateful to the event organisers who have worked tirelessly to give the Melanesian community a platform.

Find out more via the link HERE

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