‘Mahi piupiu’ was originally performed by Te Kotahitanga o Waitaha in 1977 at the Polynesian Festival, now known as Te Matatini, and as a poi at the 1986 Aotearoa Maori Festival of Arts.
Composed by Tihi Puanaki (Ngāti Hine), the waiata describes the process of making piupiu.
Tihi Puanaki has led the Te Kotahitanga o Waitaha rōpū since she and a gathering of young people from the trade training hostels established it in Christchurch in the 1970s. In 2020 she received a Creative New Zealand Te Waka Toi Award for her outstanding contribution to kapa haka.
In this video, Puanaki and Roberta Arahanga (Nga Tamaterā, Te Arawa, Ngāpuhi) tell the story of writing the waiata.
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