Tapu Ae - Taonga Tākaro (Traditional Māori Game)

Game Whakapapa/Atuatanga

Tapu Ae is an adaptation of Kī o Rahi and uses the same Whakapapa and Purakau of that Tākaro.

Game description

Tapu Ae is one of many Kī (ball) game variations. Traditionally the Pawero area's on the field were sometimes specially constructed mounds of dirt.

Papa Tākaro (playing fields) were therefore highly maintained and valued places for developing physical well being, developing and requiring a range of different skills.

Number of players required

10 players/people minimum (5 a side)

Space required

Indoor/outdoor Tākaro. Usually played in a netball/basketball sized area

Game benefits

Improves skills around 1 and 2 hand passing, passing accuracy, catching, small target shooting, foot movement, communication between team mates and blocking skills.

Equipment needed

6-10 cones to be the Tupu

6-10 Tennis balls to put on top of the Tupu/cones

Kī/ball or just a normal netball/soccer/foam ball

Netball/Basketball court or Field marking paint

Bibs or Rippah tags to identify teams.


Start the games by throwing the Kī into Te Ao (the middle zone) this is done after each tupu hit.

If a team losses possession out of bounds over the sides, then they hand over the Kī to the opposition.

If it goes out over the back, the defensive teams kaitiaki gets the Kī.

The Kī must be touched by your team in Te Ao, before the attack can gain possession.

If you are using a Poi Toa, attackers need to keep the poi swinging, if the defender is close enough to be hit by the Poi, then they are too close, if 2 people catch the Poi at the same time then the closest to the ki (head/ball) retains possession (also refer to Poi Toa)


STATIC            - Designed to encourage passing and team work, not so daunting for less active players.

                        - No running while in possession of the KI.

                        - Defenders stay 3 feet away, no contact.

DYNAMIC         - You can run with the ki.

                        - Tackling, ripper tags or touch is allowed depending on the group.


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