Auckland Council Libraries: Rere Atu Taku Poi

Rere Atu Taku Poi

Introducing our brand new bilingual picture book "Rere Atu Taku Poi! Let My Poi Fly", inspired by a true story!

Written by Tangaroa Paul (Muriwhenua) and published by Auckland Council Libraries and Oratia Books, "Rere Atu Taku Poi! Let My Poi Fly!" is a whānau-friendly celebration of self-expression, cultural pride, and having the courage to do what you love. 

Join Rangi, brought to life by Rebecca Gibbs' stunning illustrations, as he twirls, leaps, and shows everyone that anyone can own the stage, and the poi. 

So, get ready to cheer, whānau, as Rangi lets his true colours – and poi skills – fly!

Enjoy the story read aloud in Māori by its author Tangaroa Paul, or watch the read-along in English.

About the book 

  • Rere Atu Taku Poi book cover
  • Title: Rere Atu Taku Poi! Let My Poi Fly!
    Author: Tangaroa Paul
    Illustrator: Rebecca Gibbs
    Publication date: 8 February 2024
    Format: Paperback, 270x210mm, 32 pages, full color
    Languages: Māori, English
    Published by: Auckland Council Libraries and Oratia Books

    'Mō ngā kōtiro anake te poi, e mara!'

    Ka nui te aroha o Rangi ki te kapa haka, heoi, ko te poi tana tino kaingākau — ahakoa ngā kōrero a ngā hoa ā-kura, mā ngā kōtiro anake te poi. Tērā pōhēhē tērā!

    Ka māuiui te kaitātaki wahine i mua i te tū o te kapa ki te pō whakangahau, ka riro mai ko Rangi ki te kawe i taua tūranga. Ka pēhea ngā tauira me te hunga mātakitaki ki tēnā?

    'Tē taea e te tama ki te ārahi i te poi?'

    'Uhm, the poi is for girls, eah!'

Rangi loves doing kapa haka but performing poi is his favourite — even though his classmates say it’s just for girls. What an assumption that is! When the female leader for the poi falls sick before a school performance, Rangi steps into her place. How will the other students and the audience react? ‘Surely a boy can’t lead the poi?’

Purchase your very own copy  from our publishing partner Oratia! 

About the author

Tangaroa Paul profile picture
Tangaroa Paul is a talented storyteller, educator and expert in Māori and Indigenous studies. With a strong background in kapa haka and gender studies, Tangaroa brings their passion and experience to "Rere Atu Taku Poi!", aiming to inspire readers to embrace their authentic selves and challenge societal expectations.

Tangaroa Paul is of Muriwhenua descent and identifies as 'irarere', which translates to 'gender-fluid' in te reo Māori. They are a lecturer at Te Ara Poutama (the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies at Auckland University of Technology) teaching te reo Māori, media and gender studies. In 2023 they were awarded a PhD which focused on gender role differences in Māori performances. 

Tangaroa has always loved kapa haka and discovered a passion for poi. They have moved from performing in the male kapa haka line to performing with wāhine, where, like Rangi, they can express their true self and love for poi.

About the illustrator

Illustrator Rebecca Gibbs profile picture
Rebecca Gibbs, a former primary school teacher, is passionate about reconnecting to her Māori roots and promoting tīkanga Māori through her illustrations. She is known for her diverse representation and strong visual depiction of te ao Māori - the Maori world - and for her charming animal and fantasy characters based on Aotearoa's unique native flora and fauna.

Born in Gisborne and descended from Rongowhakaata, Rebecca is now based in Ōtautahi. In 2015, she gained a Bachelor of Design (VisCom) and has worked in illustration and publishing since. Rebecca was recently a judge for the Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Illustration Laureate (2023), and fosters the success of other young and emerging artists through her teaching.

Free teaching resource

Teaching self-acceptance and diversity is an honour and responsibility for all of us lucky enough to impact the lives of young Kiwis. Whether you're a parent, teacher or otherwise, we've prepared a colourful and comprehensive resource to help you deliver Rangi's journey with tamariki.

Text version of the teaching resource

About the publishers

Rere Atu Taku Poi! is published by Auckland Council Libraries and Oratia Books , an independent publisher based in Auckland’s Waitākere ranges with a focus on children’s, Māori, history and general non-fiction books. 

Our partnership with Oratia Books ensures that the book is available to our local communities, as well as wider audiences across New Zealand.
Oratia logo

Auckland Council Libraries:Rere Atu Taku Poi Twirl with Rangi in "Rere Atu Taku Poi!", a bilingual story celebrating self-expression and te reo Māori. Challenge stereotypes and embrace culture with stunning art and a heartwarming message. Perfect for whānau! Borrow at Auckland Libraries.