Special 'Poi e' performance by Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and AGGs Kapa Haka

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

In a first, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) teamed up with the Auckland Girls Grammar Kapa Haka group and a South Auckland primary school to perform a special rendition of the iconic Kiwi song Poi E. The whānau of Dalvanius Prime was in attendance to enjoy the special performance.

Stringed instruments fused with the harmonious voices of Auckland Girls Grammar kapa haka perform a unique rendition of Poi E.

“They were all beautiful, the orchestra and Auckland Girls Grammar.” said Dalvanuis’ brother Nephi Prime, (Ngāti Ruanui, Tūwharetoa, Ngā Rauru).

“As they sang, we felt the spirit of the song and it was very emotional. However we are really happy. We've seen the performance and pay tribute to them,” he said.

The popular song was performed at the APOs Wairua Harikoa concert hosted at Manukau's Vodafone Events Centre that involved 200 children from across Auckland.

“This South Auckland community and Māori culture is very important to the APO and we're really delighted to be able to perform this iconic piece,” said Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra Chief Executive, Barbara Glase.

“It's the first time it's been arranged for full orchestra. And we're thrilled and very honoured to be part of the performance."

Poi E shot to number one on the New Zealand song chart in 1984. The lyrics written by Ngoi Pewhairangi with music by Dalvanuis Prime was performed by the Patea Māori Club.

“Although they're not here physically, there's no doubt they're with us in a spirit of happiness and joy, both Dalvanius and Ngoi,” said Nephi Prime. “They're both here supporting this song.”

“They cultural mix of an orchestra with this very special culture has been the biggest reward, it's been absolutely fantastic and we've had a wonderful response,” said Glase.

APO say they plan to engage with other communities across Auckland in cultural collaborations of other popular Māori songs.