Festival of Asia LaunchedEthnic Affairs
Exciting the senses, exploring the sights, enjoying the sounds and tasting the cuisine is all part of the Festival of Asia.
The Festival of Asia is being hosted by the Asia 2000 Foundation and is currently taking place in cities throughout New Zealand from March 18 to Sunday, 1 April.
"The Festival of Asia offers New Zealanders a unique opportunity to enjoy live music and dance performances, view Asian crafts and sample Asian food - and for free," Minister for Ethnic Affairs George Hawkins said.
Prime Minister Helen Clark opened the Festival of Asia in Auckland City on Saturday to a crowd of around 5,000.
George Hawkins said the Festival allows us to celebrate Ethnic diversity within our community: "That is really important," he said.
"The Festival also highlights the importance of Asia and Asian migration to New Zealand. Asian New Zealanders contribute their culture and heritage, energy, enterprising spirit and work ethic to this country.
"We all benefit from this," George Hawkins said.
"New Zealand is very lucky to have such a large and growing Asian community.
"The Festival of Asia provides an opportunity to once again showcase the rich and diverse Asian community here in New Zealand," George Hawkins said.