South Island Solomon Islands group rehearse backstage ahead of their performance at the Melanesian Festival.
Hundreds gathered to celebrate the second Melanesian Festival in West Auckland.
A bigger crowd than last year, more food stalls, crafts and musicians from all over Melanesia were highlights at last Saturday’s Melanesian Festival.
Families travelled to West Auckland from the South Island, Wellington and Hamilton to represent Fiji, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and West Papua.
PMN Solomon Islands producer Trixy Ibnul says they’ve made “a lot of positive progress compared to last year”.
“Solomon Islands has Melanesians, Micronesians and Polynesians so if you want to experience the different races and cultures of the Pacific, we have that diversity in the Solomons, especially food!”
Food stalls had traditional food like lovo, vakalolo, rourou, palusami, banana & cassava bread.
Food stalls from Vanuatu and Fiji.
"We might be small in numbers but we actually contributed a lot to our country," Ibnul said.
Among the performers were RSE workers from Banks Island who presented a traditional Mao dance.
Solomon Islands musician Stegga says performing at the Melanesian Festival was about “showing love for our Melanesian brothers and sisters”.
PNG arts and crafts stall by Jacinta Waitema [bottom right], her Meri blouses are all handmade in PNG.