Brought up by his grandparents, Pop and Nanny Mei, and a range of uncles and cousins, seventeen-year-old Poi Paki is very much a part of the marae. It's the world of rural Maori: 'a bit na?ve, a bit cunning, a bit in your face and often more than a little crazy'. It's a place of humour, love but also violence and poverty. Poi dreams of leaving it to join the Army, like many of his other relatives have done in the past. He doesn't want to escape the love, respect and loyalty of the marae, but he wants to escape the inter-family tensions and the way you can easily be sucked under by circumstance. He also wants to find his own place in the world, knowing that he started out as a product of rape, abandoned by his mother. Poi has ambition, intelligence and plenty of cheek. He also has a strong foundation of love, but will it help him on his way?