Eager participants learn 'Poi E'

By Mānia Clarke

Eager participants turned out in force to learn the iconic waiata 'Poi E', in West Auckland at the weekend, the event featured some original members of the Pātea Māori Club. 

The rare opportunity was part of Corban Estate's Matariki Celebrations.

People from all creeds and ages, are keen to learn one of NZ's iconic pop song, Poi E.

The great turnout was humbling for the members of Pātea Māori Club, like Tauke, the grandson of the late kuia Hui Kahu, who led the poi.

Tauke says, “The endearing thing for me, is that this is still what she wanted, her final instructions was to teach the song to our children and grandchildren. And, we've seen it with those who've come, from all nationalities, to learn, take up and retain our traditions.”

In 1984, Poi E went to No.1 on the New Zealand charts for four weeks. 

Four generations of the Prime family participated. Miri Smee along with her mum performed in the original video.

Miri says, “For it to be going on this long, tells me anyway that we did something right.  It was really difficult at the time because it was new to everyone, but now everyone is doing it.”

A view supported by Te Arepa Kahi, producer of the soon to be released new film Poi E.

Tearepa says, “That's the spirit of Poi E. It's not just for us Māori, however, it's from all people of this country.”

These poi actions aren't as easy as the Pātea Māori Club make it out to be, but, it looks like it's still in the good hands.

Smee says, “It's a legacy I guess we're leaving for everyone and I think we're very, where really honoured that people like today want to come and do this with us.”

The film POI E will open the New Zealand International Film Festival, in Auckland on the August 4.