Hamilton’s Nesian Festival a time of cultural celebration and health awareness

Leaupepe Rachel Karalus,
CEO, K’aute Pasifika

Todays Nesian Festival in Hamilton will celebrate the best of Pacific culture and delicacies but will also provide the community with access to free Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccinations, cervical smear tests as well as a fire awareness demonstration from the local Fire Service.

Organised by K’aute Pasifika, a Pasifika Futures partner and a Hamilton charitable trust providing health, education and social services to Pacific communities, the event has been a stable of the Hamilton calendar since 2007.

K’aute Pasifika CEO, Leaupepe Rachel Karalus says it was important to have other activities at the festival, like cervical smear tests and vaccinations, because these are the serious health issues affecting the Pasifika community right now.

“We are just trying to capitalise on the opportunity that a large gathering of Pacific people presents.  We also have healthy heart checks, along with our normal Pacific food stalls.”

The festival, which will also include cultural performances, has continually grown since its inception in 2007 and this year, it’s been held for the first time at the Waikato University sportsgrounds.

Karalus says that the events expansion to a large venue is a positive sign that the wider community is supporting and embracing Pasifika cultures in the Waikato.

“We hold this event each year because our community has told us that they wanted a festival to celebrate our Pacific cultures and to maintain a connection to our identity.”

The Hamilton Nesian Festival is today from 10am -2pm at the University of Waikato Sportsground, Kington Road, Hillcrest.

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Date: Saturday 27 March 2021