AUT joined in the celebrations of Auckland’s diverse island cultures at ASB PolyFest 2016.
Proud sponsor of the Cook Islands Stage, AUT played host to secondary school students competing in traditional Cook Island dance, song and speech.
This is the second year that AUT has sponsored the Cook Islands Stage.
AUT Head of Pacific Advancement says PolyFest was an important event in the AUT calendar.
“Polyfest is an opportunity for us to engage with Auckland’s Pacific community.”
“With 15% of our AUT students identifying as being of Pacific descent, we are well placed to be a proud partner in this large-scale community event,” he says.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key also dropped by the AUT Cook Islands Stage on Friday afternoon to greet Pacific leaders, and address the audience.
AUT staff and students held a digital activation stand, where secondary schools competed against each other in a Virtual Vaka (Sailing) Challenge. To take part in the challenge, participants filled out a quiz to determine what sort of character they would be on their school’s Vaka.
Based on their personality, students were assigned 1 of 6 characters based on Hollands Theory of Career Choice including Toa (Warrior), Kaiwhakahaera (Manager), Kaitiaki (Carer), Talanoa (Orator), Kaveinga (Navigator) and Ariki (Chief).
A wider spread of characters within each school meant that the school’s Vaka was more balanced, and could sail across a big video wall faster. At the end of PolyFest, the fastest Vaka won a $2000 grant towards the cost of entering Polyfest 2017.
The stand attracted 540 participants who were all keen to find out what role they could hypothetically be best for on their vaka.
Year 11 Epsom Girls Grammar student Jesslyn Woo was one of the participants who took part in the Vaka Challenge.
“I loved how everyone was so friendly at the AUT stall,” she says.
“The Vaka Challenge was really cool as well. It was so interesting how based on a few questions, you can find out what sort of personality type you are and the courses you’d be great at.”
Decorated Vaka sails by primary school students were also displayed at the AUT stand during the event. Following the end of the event, the sails were gifted back to the schools.
First year Bachelor of Business student Ariana Kiely shared about her experience helping out at the AUT stand.
“I came straight from Rarotonga to study at AUT, and helping out at PolyFest has been such an amazing experience because of the warm and inclusive family vibes.”
She summed up her experience: “This feels like home!”
Winners of the AUT Vaka Challenge at PolyFest 2016
1. Aorere College
Aorere College will receive $2000 towards their costs for Polyfest 2017.
2. Tangaroa College
Tangaroa College will receive a class trip to Vector Wero Whitewater Park.
3. Southern Cross Campus
Southern Cross Campus will receive 12 passes to Vector Wero Whitewater Park.