By Gladys Hartson - email@example.com
Pasifika pride was on display over the weekend, with more than 900 secondary students from the Waikato and Bay of Plenty performing in the annual Pasifika By Nature festival held in Hamilton.
Fraser High School. Photo/ PMN.
This year marked 20 years celebrating the Pacific culture through traditional and contemporary performances at the festival.
More than 10 schools took part in the competition with the theme, “Be who you want to be”.
Tokoroa High School. Photo/ PMN.
Fraser High School broke Hamilton Girls' High School's winning streak by taking out the competition this year.
Tokoroa High School was second, with Hamilton Girls' High third.
Fraser High School teacher Kasha Parsons says their victory is a dream come true.
"I'm overwhelmed with emotion for my kids," she says. "It's been a long time coming. I'm so proud of them."
Co-founder and organiser of the festival, Mareta Matenga, says it's been another proud moment for students to shine a light on their passion for Pacific languages and culture.
"I'm so grateful for the community and the love of our Pasifika culture and they get why we do it and they love it. That's why we want to provide it."
Hamilton Girls' High School. Photo/ PMN.
The festival will now be held every two years and will be back in 2020.