New 'Poi' craze during lockdown

By Taroi Black

A mother of three in Rotorua has taken her skills in traditional Māori dance to social media creating a Facebook blog called Mauri o Te Poi.

Facebook blogger Wikitoria Tuhakaraina Simon says, “The time has come for Te Mauri o Te Poi to lift up everyone's mauri and their spirits, finding their way through this.”

The page was initially set up following a widespread response when the impact of Covid-19 affected the tourism industry in which she works.       

Wikitoria has worked in Rotorua tourism since she was 12 years old, performing to millions of tourists at Tamaki Tours, Whakarewarewa Thermal Village and Te Puia Tourism.

Her love of performing poi has attracted over 20,000 views by poi-lovers across Aotearoa and abroad who have tuned into her online content.

“For me, I miss concerts, for me my passion of ngā mahi a rēhia on stage, everyday tourists that come every day at Te Puia, it made me turn to Mauri o te Poi to keep me grounded”