Ngā mahi a te rēhia — Activity collectionGames and pastimes

Tagged with:

  • Physical activity
  • Movement concepts and motor skills
  • Hauora
  • Attitudes and values
  • Years 1–4
  • Years 5–8
  • Years 9–10

Learn ngā mahi ā te rēhia (games and pastimes): manu aute (kite making), kōruru (knuckle bones), pōtaka (spinning tops), and poutoti (stilts).

Exploring te ao kori

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Two girls standing together and smiling.

Include hapū, iwi, and mana whenua

Techniques, tikanga, and popular ngā mahi ā te rēhia (games and pastimes) vary between hapū and iwi. Acknowledging mana whenua and the tikanga for ngā mahi ā te rehia in your area can begin with conversations and partnerships with ākonga and whānau who bring expertise to the classroom. If you have no Māori whānau, or hapū or iwi connections, within your school, seek introductions to Māori communities through Kāhui ako/school networks, or talk to the strategic advisor Māori at your regional Ministry of Education office.


Ngā mahi ā te rēhia play an integral part in the development of physical attributes such as hand and eye coordination. Traditionally, the arts of pleasure were attributed to Raukatauri and Raukatamea. Attributing ngā mahi ā te rēhia to hautupua (legendary characters) explained the origins of these amusements. The season when recreational games and pastimes were often played was just after the crops were harvested and stored. During this harvest festival, Māori gave themselves over to ngā mahi ā te rēhia, a te harikoa – the arts of pleasure and of joyfulness.

Te reo Māori vocabulary

  • Harakeke – New Zealand flax phormium tenax
  • Hauora – wellbeing
  • Manu pātiki – the flatfish/flounder kite
  • Manu taratahi – kite
  • Pōtaka – spinning top
  • Raupō – bulrush, typha angustifolia
  • Ruru tahi – pick up ones
  • Ruru rua – pick up twos
  • Ruru toru – pick up threes
  • Ruru whā – pick up fours
  • Teina – younger
  • Toetoe – sedge grass, arundo kakao (conspicua)
  • Tuakana – older