The TuTagata Secondary Poly Festival is the oldest in the Wellington region, originally established in 1979 by Kara Puketapu, then Secretary of Māori Affairs, whose vision was to give Māori and Pasifika students a platform on which to stand up and be proud of who they are.
St Catherine’s College has been involved in TuTagata since 1980, when a combined St Catherine’s / St Patrick’s student group performed at the second festival held at the Ngati Poneke Marae. The St Catherine’s College Multicultural Club was established in 1981 and has been a vibrant part of the fabric of the college since then.
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the festival, St Catherine’s was honoured to host the festival. The festival was held at the Michael Fowler Centre on Friday 27 July 2018.
Under the direction of the college’s 2018 Multicultural Leader, Paula Tafilipepe and her team of Year 13 leaders, preparations for the festival began in February with a challenging practice schedule. The 53 students who signed up for Poly this year rose to the challenge and sacrificed much of their free time, including their Term One and Term Two holidays, to prepare a performance worthy of the occasion.
The St Cath’s PolyClub is very aware that this year’s journey was made possible by the generosity and love of others. Special thanks to Malia Tafilipepe and her family who provided support and encouragement throughout the six months of preparation for the festival. We are eternally grateful to our tutors: Resa Leo, Anthony Savali, Toaga Alefosio and Takipo Tupou for their patience and passion and their determination that the St Catherine’s performance, which would be opening the festival, would be a performance to remember.
The St Cath’s performance can be viewed here: