Grow communities / Training / Guide your own ruku: Mātauranga Māori / Whanaungatanga Pūkana mai (5 minutes)

Great ruku sessions begin with whanaungatanga. Pūkana mai is a quick activity that will help you measure how your group's feeling while having some fun together. It only takes 5 minutes and works well online or in-person.


Pūkana mai is a great icebreaker to help you measure how the group is feeling as you begin your ruku session. It works just as well online through Zoom or Teams, or in a kanohi ki te kanohi ruku session. It's quick, which mean's it's ideal for a team hui before you dive into the mahi.

Demonstrate a pūkana

Bring the positive, uplifting energy and start the session:

  • demonstrate a pūkana and then ask the group to practice their own
  • show me your pūkana!
  • pūkana mai again – make sure everyone is doing the pūkana.

Be sure to use humour. It's engaging to ask a funny question first to help everyone feel a bit more relaxed.

Add your questions

Prepare in advance 6 to 8 questions to get to know your group and have a bit of fun. You can make the questions relevant to the topic of the day – Mātauranga Māori – such as finding out how many of your group have slept on a marae before.

Here's a few ideas:

  • Pūkana mai if you're wearing undies!
  • Pūkana mai if you've had breakfast, lunch (depending on the time of the session) – we may need a break because people might get hangry!
  • Pūkana mai if you need to leave early – this will give you an indication of how many might need to leave early.
  • Pūkana mai if you've slept on a marae.

Tips for success

This activity helps you identify how people are feeling, which gives you an opportunity to tailor the session. If you find that a few in your group haven't had kai yet, you might add in an extra break for a cuppa.

It also gives you an opportunity to find out some extra information about your participants.

Two hot tips:

  • be sure to have fun too
  • be as creative as you like with your questions.

Pūkana mai works especially well if people already know each other. It creates a fun and dynamic environment for hui where you don't have a lot of time for each participant to introduce themselves.