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23 May 2016

VIDEO: NZ delegation welcomed in Guam for Pacific Festival opening

The Chamorro welcoming group performing for the NZ delegation as they arrived in Guam over the weekend. Image: Te Kāea/ Māori Television

GUAM (Te Kāea/ Māori Television/Pacific Media Watch): The regionally anticipated Festival of Pacific Arts has finally kicked off this weekend in Guam.

According to a Te Kāea news report, close to 100 New Zealand delegation members arrived in the island nation over the weekend.

They were met with a traditional welcome, from members of the Chamorro community, the indigenous people of Guam.

Frank Radon, was part of the Chamorro welcoming group, in an interview with Te Kāea he said it was an honour to welcome everyone.

“Despite our regional uniqueness the commonality is that we are all part of the pacific region which encompasses our seafaring ancestors as well as the traditional practices that our ancestors have bestrode upon us over many thousands of years ago.”

Among the NZ delegation are the kapa haka group Te Whānau a Apanui, who told Te Kāea they were at the festival to represent Māori performing arts, song, tradition and to build relationships with other islands of the Pacific.

The full video story can be seen here on Te Kāea.

The Festival of Pacific Arts began in 1972, it is held every four years, with a different Pacific nation hosting it each time.

It brings together Pacific artists, performers and cultural practitioners, making it the largest gathering where Pacific nations come together to celebrate the regions people, diversity and unity.

This year 27 countries are at the festival, including this year's host nation Guam: American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Easter Island, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna.

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Pacific Media Watch

PMC's media monitoring service

Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators. (cc) Creative Commons