Pātea Māori Club celebrates 40 years of the iconic 'Poi E'

Pātea Māori Club celebrates 40 years of the iconic 'Poi E'

"It was a blessing, it was a privilege."

One of Aotearoa’s most iconic songs of the '80s 'Poi E' has celebrated its 40th birthday. 

The waiata was crafted in 1982. Two years later, in 1984, it was officially released and it instantly became a hit soon after!

Topping the New Zealand charts for four weeks, the song has managed to reach number 1 in New Zealand every decade since it was first released.

This iconic waiata was created in the southern Taranaki town of Pātea by the Pātea Māori Club.

Last weekend the group marked the anniversary by gathering together last weekend, taking time to recognize the legacy the song has had since its release.

 “We are so humbled that we gather together this weekend to celebrate Poi E. It’s a chance to revive all our waiata passed on from our old people to the young. A very emotional but beautiful time" Chair of Pātea Māori Club Laura Marurea told RNZ.

“We are hugely proud of Poi E for achieving this milestone for the Pātea community and Te Reo Māori in Aotearoa. The poi can be likened to the fantail flying through a forest, just like tangata whenua finding their way through colonisation, land loss and reclamation of identity” said Ngarewa-Packer, Te Pāti Māori co-leader. 

Pātea Māori Club celebrates 40 years of the iconic 'Poi E'

The song was written and created to inspire the people, to tell their story, and bring some joy, which they did!

After 'Poi E' was released in 1984, the waiata topped charts, outselling big international artists including Michael Jackson. 

"It was a blessing, it was a privilege it was really fun that we could do that", Laura Marurea said.

"They've got heaps of pride, they sing it like nobody's business and the beauty of the group comes out. I don't think they ever get sick of it, we do it all the time. That is one waiata that we don't get sick of" she added.