This is an annual event that has its beginnings from King Tawhiao who in 1884 instituted the Poukai as a gesture of looking after and feeding those who had been driven from their homeland into the area now known as the King Country as a result of the 1863 war.
King Tawhaio was particularly concerned about the welfare of the people who were widowed, bereaved and destitute as a result of the government invasion. By 1865 more than 1.2 million acres of Waikato land had been confiscated.
These days the Poukai has become a way for iwi to feast together, grieve, remember those recently passed, discuss concerns for the Kingitanga leadership to consider, pass on news and collect financial contributions for the Kingitanga and host marae.
Ngati Pikiao is one of 29 marae who will host a Poukai this year. The Iwi participates as an acknowledgement to its direct whakapapa link to the King Tuheitia through its tupuna, Pikiao.