A documentary about hit New Zealand song Poi E has passed the $1 million mark at the New Zealand box office.

Poi E: The Story of Our Song is only the third New Zealand documentary to reach that milestone after The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls and Gaylene Preston's Home By Christmas.

The film's director, producer and writer Tearepa Kahi called the milestone "very rewarding".

"I've received so many messages from New Zealanders over the past five weeks, young and old, whose eyes have been opened by Dalvanius, Ngoi and the Pātea Māori Club," he said.

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"People from all walks of life have been moved emotionally and culturally. I believe when we all understand how far they took our language and culture, it gives us all strength to take it that much further today."

Released in 1984, Poi E is the first and still the only No. 1 song written entirely in Te Reo Māori.