Story: Kapa Haka

'Poi e'

'Poi e', with its catchy tune, infectious rhythm and breakdance routines, became a number one hit for the Pātea Maori Club (previously known as the South Taranaki Cultural Club) in 1984. The words were written by Ngoingoi Pēwhairangi of Ngāti Porou and the music was composed by Pātea local Dalvanius Prime. The hit, which drew on traditional kapa haka as well as contemporary hip hop, came at the right time, as the Pātea freezing works had closed in 1982 and the town was experiencing economic decline. The song was later expanded into a musical that told the story of Pātea.

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Courtesy of Jayrem Records

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How to cite this page:

Valance Smith, 'Kapa Haka - Urban groups and formal competitions', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 June 2024)

Story by Valance Smith, published 22 Oct 2014, reviewed & revised 9 Feb 2023