Poukai unites whānau

By Renee Kahukura-Iosefa
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

The 80th anniversary of Poukai was held for the Horahora Marae in Rangiriri today.

According to Taipu Moana, “Poukai are a special occasion.  Originally set up to support the widowed, bereaved and the poor in the time of King Tāwhiao, they continue to this day.”

Although King Tūheitia could not attend in person today, his son, Whatumoana, was there as the King's representative.

Every year, the families of each marae know exactly how their Poukai are run, and are on hand to help.  The gatherings are also a time to discuss important issues for the people.

Pat Kingi, an elder of this marae, says one main difference he's noticed over the years is that there are now many of their young ones who have gone overseas to work.

“Much has changed. Many of our young ones have crossed the Tasman to Australia to find work.”

The next Poukai will be held on the 19th of January at Kokohinau Marae in Te Teko.