This is your New Zealand What’s On – it’s a guide to fun events and things to do locally. Our in-country staff curates a round-up of their favorite events each month to share. Current students abroad can check their inbox for the full digest throughout the semester.


Ports of Auckland – Round the Bays
When: Sunday, March 5
Don’t miss New Zealand’s largest fun run & walk – be a part of the 45th edition! It’s a flat 8.3km fun run from Vector Arena to St Heliers Bay. Check with the university if they are putting together a team so that you can enjoy their burgers and beers tent at the end.

George in the Park [FREE entry]
When: March 18 from 2-6pm
Where: Coyle Park, Point Chevalier
Featuring Nice ‘N’ Urlich, Sola Rosa, Kings and Stack and Piece, and hosted by George FM Djs, this free event is not one to be missed. Join us on Saturday 18th March for an afternoon of sun and tunes.

Pasifika Festival [FREE entry]
When: March 25-26
Where: Western Springs
Pasifka is renowned for its relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere. Western Springs Park is the ideal setting for this family friendly event. There really is something for everyone. There are 11 authentic Pacific Island villages. They each have a performance stage and market setting, with a distinctly unique vibe. From the buzz and loud sounds of the Cook Island and Samoan stages to the peaceful setting of the Niue and Kiribati villages. Be sure to check out the Pan Pacific village if you are in the mood for a spot of shopping and sniff out the smokey aromas of barbecued delights that you will find in Hawaiian village.

Pop-up Globe
When: Now until May 14
Where: Ellerslie Racecourse
Pop-up Globe is a multi-award winning New Zealand company that produces spectacular Jacobean theatre, particularly the works of Shakespeare, in the world’s first full scale temporary working replica of the second Globe. At Pop-up Globe we believe Shakespeare’s masterworks performed in the space of the second Globe – the theatre Shakespeare and his company built and in which his plays were being performed when he died – is an extraordinary, transformative experience.

Auckland Arts Festival
When: March 8-26
Auckland Arts Festival is returning to the central city in the beginning of 2017. The heart of the city will come alive with a series of creative, inspiring, theatrical, and thought-provoking events and performances from local and international artists. Key highlights include Auckland’s annual White Night celebrations on Saturday 18 March, and The Festival Garden will be popping up at Aotea Square from 8 March, the perfect place to grab a drink or a bite to eat before attending a performance.

Palmerston North

Festival of Cultures – Lantern Festival and Parade [FREE]
When: Friday, March 3 from 7-9:30pm
Where: The Square
Celebrate the diversity of Palmerston North’s cultures with the 2017 Festival of Cultures. The evening Cultural Lantern Parade marks the beginning of the Festival of Cultures and acknowledges the ‘Year of the Rooster’. Entertainment includes: Chinese Cultural performers, Cuban singer Romulo Castro and The Balkanistas – a large exuberant ensemble of musicians from Wellington reflecting the diverse influences of the Balkans. The parade begins at 8:30pm in The Square, (leaving from front of the stage) and will deliver a taste for the flavour of the attractions to be enjoyed during the festival being held the following two days.

Blood Bros by Abbey Theatre [$45]
When: March 2-9
Where: Centennial Drive Auditorium, Centennial Drive
So, did yã hear the story of the Johnstone Twins? Set in Britain, Willy Russells blood brothers tells the story of fraternal twins who are separated at birth. Mrs Johnstone is working as a cleaner for Mrs Lyons when she becomes pregnant with twins. The financial burden of two children is too much for her and Mrs Lyons is longing for a child of her own, so Mrs Johnstone keeps Mickey and gives the other boy, Edward, to Mrs Lyons.

The Winter’s Tale Manawatu Summer Shakespeare [Donation entry]
When: March 2-11 from 7:30pm
Where: Victoria Esplanade Gardens, Fitzherbert Avenue
Come along to “a fantastical tale both tragic and comic; of consuming jealousy, loss, miraculous reunion and forgiveness. It also features the world’s most famous stage direction, “Exit pursued by a bear”. – Sara Brodie Shakespeare’s, The Winter’s Tale directed and choreographed by Sara Brodie.

School Dance [$20 for students]
When: March 18 until end of April from 8-9:30pm
Where: Centrepoint Theatre, 280 Church Street
This is a story of three teenage boys. Matt, Luke and Jonathon. They’re going to a school dance. They’re on a mission. But they are losers. Fuelled by a diet of raging hormones and instant noodles, the trio sets off on a strange and fantastical journey to escape the school bully, impress the girl, and save the world! Inspired by old-school cartoons and John Hughes films, School Dance is a deliciously dorky theatrical extravaganza for the freaks, the geeks, and anyone who’s ever felt different. Featuring BMX heroics, Smurfs and 80s anthems, it’s all about being brave, facing your own self-loathing, and coming out on top.


Goodbye Pork Pie [$10]
When: Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 11 from 7pm
Where: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, 84 Taranaki St, Te Aro
Screening as part of the “Films that shaped New Zealand” series. One of New Zealand’s most popular and enduring films, the original “Goodbye Pork Pie” was the first box-office hit of the new wave of films made in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Director Geoff Murphy’s 1981 tale of two men on the run in a small yellow mini had an anti-authoritarian impulse which covered the breadth of the country, appealing to audiences across New Zealand.

All’s Well That Ends Well – Summer Shakespeare Wellington
When: March 1-3 from 7:30-10pm
Where: Civic Square, 65 Victoria St, Te Aro
Renowned actor and director Peter Hambleton will helm the 2017 Summer Shakespeare, All’s Well That Ends Well. For the first time in 20 years, our venue will be Wellington’s iconic Civic Square. Seating provided – bring a cushion or blanket, bring a picnic (no alcohol), dress warmly, coffee and snacks available at intermission.

Bowlzilla Wellington [FREE]
When: March 9-12
Where: Waitangi Park, 107 Cable St
Wellington City Council, International Skateboarder’s Union, Redhead or Dead Events, Skateboarding New Zealand and Miryoku Agency are building New Zealand skating with BOWLZILLA wellington in the nation’s capital.

Dragon Boat Festival [FREE]
When: March 11-12 from 9am
Where: Frank Kitts Park, Jervois Quay
An action-packed weekend off on water Dragon boat racing combined with off water entertainment. Saturday is the Wellington Corporate championship, combined with club masters and international adult teams battle it out for glory on our watery racetrack between Queens Wharf and Taranaki Street Wharf. On Sunday, the Wellington Secondary Schools challenge each other. They also hold the loudest and most colourful chant competition in Frank Kitts Park at lunch time. Best viewing is along the promenade in front of Frank Kitts park, with live commentary and a free grandstand to sit and cheer on the paddlers, it makes for a great family day out.

CubaDupa [FREE]
When: March 25-26
Where: Cuba Street
CubaDupa is Wellington’s vibrant street festival revering the creative spirit of Cuba Street and the Wellington community – “Wellingtonians and visitors love the unique charm of Cuba Street as a backdrop to the marvellous performances of CubaDupa,” says Mayor Celia Wade-Brown. CubaDupa brings all walks of life together in an immersive experience to ‘Get On Up’ during the day or ‘Get On Down’ in the evening – restaurants and cafes will spill into the streets to create a culinary cacophony; people will flow through the streets and lane-ways, exploring the myriad of spaces filled with activity, music, dance, circus, theatre, and installation.


Gigs at the Gallery: Grayson Gilmour [$15 in advance]
When: Friday 3 March; 7pm – 11pm
Where: Christchurch Art Gallery
This is an awesome gig with NZ artist Grayson Gilmour in the beautiful Art Gallery foyer space. If you haven’t already checked out the gallery then this is a great time to head along; their downstairs exhibitions will be open to peruse through before the gig starts, and then the cash bar and food trucks will be open throughout the night.

Nostalgia Festival [$44]
When: Saturday, March 4 from 12.30 – 7.30pm
Where: Ferrymead Heritage Park
Nostalgia is a daylong festival of music, food and culture that takes place within the early 1900s replica township of Ferrymead Heritage Park. There’s a fantastic array of diverse cuisine, wine, craft beer, art and market stalls as well as some of New Zealand’s top indie artists performing on two stages – the lineup looks really good this year! I went last year and had the best time, definitely worth checking out! There are limited tickets for a return bus trip to the centre of town.

Christchurch Holi Festival of Colours [FREE]
When: Saturday March 4 from 11am – 3pm
Where: 221 Gloucester St
If you don’t want to into into Ferrymead for Nostalgia Fest, or want something a bit less expensive, then Chch’s Holi celebration will be a good time. You can pay extra for the powered paints, just remember to wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little colourful!

Alliance Française French Film Festival [$14.50 with Student ID]
When: March 9-26
Where: Hoyts Northlands
The NZ Alliance Française is putting on their yearly French film festival, held at Hoyts in Northlands Mall. If you’re wanting to get a bit more cultured and see some beautiful films then I would highly recommend checking out their schedule.


Sunday Sounds at Dunedin Botanic Garden
When: Sunday, March 5, 19, 26 from 1pm
Where: Dunedin Botanic Garden, 12 Opoho Rd, North Dunedin
This is a free summer concert series presented by the Dunedin Botanic Garden located just North of University of Otago campus. Lots of space to bring a picnic and hang out on the grass.
March 5 for Otago Symphonic Band
March 19 for Swing Concert
March 26 for Reggae Concert

The Regent Anything But Books Sale
When: Friday, March 10 from 12-8pm
Where: The Regent Theatre, at the Octagon
Your chance to find treasures, nostalgic gems, classic vinyl, kitsch trinkets and much more.

Portobello Blues Festival 2017 [From $48]
The festival features international acts and makes this Otago Peninsula town very busy. Take the #18 bus from the bus shelter on Albany Street in front of the Otago Museum, but remember to check for returning bus times.

The Athlete’s Foot Stadium to Surf Fun Run and Walk
When: Sunday, March 12 from 10am
Where: Forsyth Barr Stadium
This event has 10km run/walk, and 5km and 3km options. Sign up and get more information on their website.

Dunedin Armageddon Expo [$10]
When: Saturday and Sunday March 18-19 from 10am – 5pm
Where: More FM Arena, on Portsmouth Drive
#DUNEGEDDON is set to feature an awesome lineup of animation, comic, film and television guests, all the merch your heart desires, the cosplay contest, a Pokemon Go Lure Fest, wrestling and a hot dog eating contest… and that is only the beginning!