They’re world famous – in New Zealand. The Patea Maori Club, whose 1984 song Poi E shot to number one on the Kiwi charts back in 1984, will perform for the first time at a race meeting this weekend.
On-course patrons at the Otaki racetrack will be treated to a performance by the internationally acclaimed singers on Saturday.
It will be the first raceday performance for the group.
Poi E spent 22 weeks in the charts in 1984, and was featured in the movie Boy in 2010.
“The members are really excited,” Otaki-Maori Racing Club spokeswoman Judy Maruera said.
“Some members and their whanau have been racegoers for many years and some have been part-owners of horses, but there are others who have never been on a racetrack before.”
Otaki Racecourse is 70km (40 miles) north of New Zealand’s capital city Wellington . The club has enjoyed a long, colourful and successful history since its establishment in 1886.
The Otaki-Maori Racing Club is unique in that full, or ordinary, membership is open only to people tracing to the Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Toa, and Te Ati Awa tribes.
The club says their “proud point of difference” is that it is the sole surviving Maori racing club in New Zealand – others having disappeared before the 20th century.
There are other membership options for those not descended from those tribes.