Bringing the Rotorua community together: Pasifika Day 2021

Charlie Pome’e, Lead Singer for Three Houses Down and MC for Pasifika Rotorua

Lead singer from the popular Kiwi band Three Houses Down, Charlie Pome’e, is looking forward to hosting the annual Pasifika Rotorua celebrations this weekend, saying that the day is a chance for all Pacific cultures to showcase their dance, songs, and delicacies.

“Being a proud Pasifika Islander, it’s an honour to be involved in something like this, especially because it’s outside of Auckland, which is normally the heart of Polynesia.

It’s great to see these pockets of our community outside of Auckland recognising their cultures. I’ve travelled the world through my music and have seen how unique and special our cultures are.”

Pome’e says the Pasifika Day will not only feature performances from various Pacific Island groups but will also include other ethnic groups, such as those from India.

“We’re not just embracing the Pacific Islands and we’re going outside of the box and inviting other ethnic groups to join us. It takes our Pasifika people to bring everyone together for this type of event.”

The day is hosted by Rotorua Pacific Islands Development Charitable Trust (RPIDCT), a Pasifika Futures partner and an organisation that was established to enhance the well-being of Pasifika families in the Rotorua area. 

Tupou Kaloni, Event Organiser and Whānau Ora Navigator

Event organiser and Whānau Ora Navigator for the trust, Tupou Kaloni, says the Pasifika event is meant to empower Pacific children to feel proud of their culture and provide an opportunity for the community to fundraise through various food stalls and markets.

“This is a day for all of us to connect, knowing where we belong and where we come from. We are celebrating the culture of our ancestors and bringing them alive through the songs they would have sung, the costumes that they would have worn and through the food they would have eaten.

It’s a place of comfort for our youth to come together and empower each other to become better leaders.”

For Pome’e, who formed Three Houses Down with his brothers Rob and Sione in 2004, he also wants to encourage young Pasifika youth to achieve their dreams and goals. The Tongan/Fijian/Samoan musician is also an entrepreneur who owns two construction companies and a barbershop – Chop Shop & Co – based in the Auckland suburb of Panmure.

“I employ many young Pacific Islander workers and help educate them around the whole business aspect of the world. Many of our people are afraid to take that leap of faith. I want them to use my company as a stepping stone.

Through my music, I’m also involved with helping young kids at school. To encourage them and get behind their musical talents.”

Pasifika Rotorua is on this Saturday, March 27th from 10am – 3pm at the Lake Front Village Green, Rotorua.

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Date: Thursday 25 March 2021