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Poi Tukua


Poi Tukua is a national kaupapa that builds on the excitement and momentum of previous world cups, and stages of Te Matatini Kapahaka Festival. Poi Tukua had the people of Aotearoa New Zealand and our manuhiri (international visitors) say “karawhiua!” and they gave poi a go!

The phrase, Poi Tukua, was aptly named by Māori Language Academic, Sir Tīmoti Karetu, to send poi beyond Te Ao Māori (the Māori world). Poi Tukua encouraged people from all walks of life to engage in Te Ao Māori during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023TM.

Poi Tukua cemented poi as an international symbol of empowerment for wāhine (women) and was a way of showing our support for athletes. People brought their own poi to the tournament or collected one of many that was available around stadia. It was a great chance to support our athletes throughout the life of the tournament and beyond.

We want everyone to cherish and respect poi, whilst also having fun! You can still join the Poi Tukua movement to grow our legacy and nurture the journey of poi. Kia kaha tātou mā, give it a go!

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Poi is a treasure of Māori culture, so here are a few tips to have fun and keep poi safe:
  • Twirl poi by holding the rope and letting the ball fly freely. Maintain a steady grip to keep the poi in flight. This is the perfect way to show your support during games.
  • Keep poi away from kai and water. Hang or store poi in a safe place if you aren't using it.
  • Take poi home with you or koha it to someone who will treasure it.
Learn more below about our taonga poi.
The origins and whakapapa of poi trace back to Raupō and Harakeke who descend from Tāne, who is born of Ranginui and Papatūānuku. Poi was used, many years ago, by Māori to increase their flexibility and strength in their hands and arms, as well as improving coordination. These days, poi is a key component of any kapahaka performance from young children to adults.


Poi Tukua is an incredibly special waiata written by Makayla Purcell-Mainini, in collaboration with Dame Hinewehi Mohi and Sir Tīmoti Kāretu, and produced by Ji Fraser and Dan Martin. Poi Tukua was all about celebrating wāhine at the tournament, and beyond, through poi and waiata poi.