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Vitu-Pacific Arts Festival gets Human Rights Commission acknowledgement

28 February 2007

The Vitu-Pacific Arts Festival, which brought a taste of the Pacific to Christchurch earlier this month with a rich selection of Pacific art, plays, and comedy, has won the formal recognition of the Human Rights Commission.

Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres said in the award citation sent to the organisers of the event, Pacific Underground’s Pos Mavaega and Tanya Muagututi’a, that the group was to be congratulated for its contribution in helping mark achievements and contributions to diversity in New Zealand.

Mr de Bres said Pacific Underground had achieved this through the Vitu-Pacific Arts Festival, which was run over four days in early February, giving Christchurch a taste of the Pacific through traditional and contemporary art forms.

Ms Muagututi’a said it felt good to be recognised nationally for a festival that had grown out of the group’s vision for a strong Pacific event in Christchurch that the city’s Pacific people could be proud to share with the wider community.

Events included a range of music such as The Musical Island Boys barbershop quartet, comedy from The Laughing Samoans, and performance theatre from Pacific Underground in their work Island Summer which featured a 25 piece guitar orchestra.

The celebration was hosted by Pacific Underground and funded by Creative NZ, the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, Canterbury Community Trust, Christchurch City Council and was supported by Cultural Precinct venues.

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