Tī Uru - Taonga Tākaro (Traditional Māori Game)

Game Whakapapa/Atuatanga

Traditionally played with a piece of Tī Kōuka or block of wood. Tī Uru is a tākaro that encouraged and celebrates close connections and ties between Whānau, Hapu, and Iwi.

Game description

This Tākaro is played with a light piece of Tī Kōuka (cabbage tree) once dried out the branch has a hollow centre. This makes it perfect for the way you pass, catch and score in the game. A flat open palm has to be used at all times when carrying the "Ti or Kī"

Number of players required

6 minimum (3 a side)

Space required

Netball size court or bigger for larger groups.

Game benefits

Hand/eye coordination, improves balance, whanaungatanga (team work), strategic thinking, spatial awareness

Equipment required

Piece of Tī Kōuka, Block of wood, Kī or Triangle ball (multi directional ball found in most P.E departments)


Whariki / Place mats

Bibs or Ripper tags for team I.D


Attack: Pass the ti or kī to one of your players standing on a mat to score points. Player (standing on mat) must catch and control the ti, ki, or poi on the full with an open hand. 

Defense: Stop the other team from scoring points by intercepting a passed ti or kī.

How to score points: Catch near hips = 1 mat removed, catch above the head = 2 mats removed, catch ti or kī on the back of the neck without using your hands = game winner.

ti or kī is passed into the field of play by the Kaiwawao (referee) at the beginning of the game and after each score.

Alternatively each team can start halves or quarters and defending team starts after each score.

The kī cannot go directly from defense to the attacking zone; it must be passed to the players in the middle zone.

Must be caught open handed to score, when using a kī or block.

If it is caught waist high  take away 1 mat, head high take away 2 mats, catches behind the neck wins the game.


There is an option to add more than 1 ti or kī to open up scoring opportunities. A "poi toa" can also be added as an alternative to a ti or kī, or in addition to ti or kī.

Depending on skill level and understanding, the Tākaro can be played where by players are allowed to Run with the ti or kī if touched while in possession its a hand over. Or can play a passing variation with similar rules to games like "Netball" where by when players are touched they must pass the ti or kī. 

Traditionally played with a block of wood, no holding of the block (or ki/poi) so open handed in all areas of play, better for more experienced players.

You can have as many or few mats as you want.

Only 1 defender in te pawero, makes it easier to score for each team, but more defenders around the mats contesting the scores is also lots of fun.

The variation we promote is that you can only control the ti or kī with an open hand during play. However, catching and passing as you would in most other games can be played for those trying to learn the Tākaro. The open hand method however develops a different skill set as well as offering players a challenge!


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