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Christchurch City Council Media Release 21 October 2002


Festival to celebrate Aranui’s people

The biggest day in Aranui’s history is how organisers are describing the Aranui Family Festival, Affirm to be held in Wainoni Park on December 7.

Big name sports stars such as Crusaders flanker, Johnny Leo’o and former Melbourne Storm League player, Tawera Nikau are among the drawcards to the day, which will also feature entertainers; King Kapisi (aka Bill Urale); A-Flex (Aranui High School Band); the band, F.U.S.A; and local performers and cultural groups.

Motivation for the Festival has come from the Aranui community as part of the Aranui Community Renewal Project – a partnership between the Christchurch City Council, Housing NZ and the local community. Its main aim is to “open the doors of opportunity” by providing information on careers, education, and health related services in a fun family atmosphere, according to Aranui community coordinator Rachael Fonotia.

“We want Affirm to show that Aranui is a good place to live and promote it to the wider Christchurch community. It’s a celebration of our people and our culture in Aranui,” she says.

Site vacancies at Wainoni Park are filling fast with invited community groups. A large number of health organisations have registered to present information on healthy living and lifestyle choices as well as offering plenty of giveaways. There will also be several stalls dedicated to Aranui based services for youth and families.

Food from Aranui’s many local cultures and entertainment for children will be part of the carnival-like atmosphere. There will be free entry to activities including free pony rides, juggling workshops and a giant slide for children. A celebrity touch match, mixing top sports stars with local community talent is expected to be one of the day’s highlights.

Community sponsors, Christchurch City Council and Housing New Zealand are supporting the event financially as part of their commitment to the project. While organisers are delighted with the level of community support and sponsorship, more is still needed. Anyone interested in supporting the day should contact Rachael Fonotia or Gill Redfern on 373 9044 or 373 9045

For more information: Aranui Community Coordinator, Rachael Fonotia and Aranui Community Development Adviser, Gill Redfern on 373 9044 or 373 9045.

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