The annual Pasifika Festival set to open this weekend at Western Springs has been cancelled. This is the second largest festival of it’s kind to be cancelled following in the footsteps of the last day cancellation of the Polyfest of last week.
This was after some speculation, on social media, that the Pasifika might still continue as a festival of bringing diverse people groups together in celebrating Auckland’s diversity but the Auckland Tourism bureau has since made the call in discussion with the Police for the safety of the Public.
This is quite understandable in the aftermath of what happened in Christchurch last week. In passing the two local Mangere Muslim schools i.e. a co-ed primary school and a girls’ high school there were heavily armed police carrying firearms at the gates of the school and armed police outside the mosque gates where many flower tributes had been lain. This is unprecedented in our local community in not having ever seen this type of police presence ever outside a school or place of worship.
I remember a couple of years ago asking our local institution security team about whether there were lockdown procedures should something happen similar to the shootings in education institutions in the US in our local communities. It was never believed that such a scene would ever reach our shores but now, people are having second thoughts.
Despite cancelling a much loved Pasifika event, the outpouring of love and hope in sharing this sorrow as a nation through vigils, corporate prayers, meetings in parks, candle lightings in homes, outside mosques, sharing in songs, online discussions etc. shows that so much good can come out of so much evil because in darkness even a small light can shine so much brighter…