Currie haka-happy – Val Adams
Sun, 28 Oct 2012 6:00p.m.
By Ingrid Hipkiss
Gold medallist Valerie Adams says she felt so embarrassed by a haka by the New Zealand team management in Beijing, she wanted the ground to swallow her up.
She accuses chef de mission Dave Currie of ramming the haka down athletes' throats, in a tell-all book that also spills the real story of her split with coach Kirsten Hellier.
“One of the things about being honest is that Valerie says the bad bits as well as the good bits,” says her co-writer Phil Gifford.
When Adams won gold in Beijing, Currie and co performed a rowdy haka in the Athletes’ Village at 2am.
She writes her reaction was "oh my God, are you kidding me? Dig me a hole right now. I was so embarrassed to be a Kiwi right there."
She says the ruckus woke other athletes, including her teammate James Dolphin who was due to run the biggest race of his life the next morning.
Currie has been accused over the years of being too haka-happy.
She wanted to tell Currie: "I admire and appreciate the Maori culture, but we're not all Maori. Don't try to ram it down our throats."
In an interview with 60 Minutes, she slams Currie's handling of the debacle that saw her left off the start list in London.
“Obviously, I don't think Dave Currie will be happy with what's in it, but it’s the truth,” says Mr Gifford.
Adams also tells her side of the split with Hellier, which was widely believed to be driven by Adams.
“That wasn't the case at all,” says Adams. “It didn't even cross my mind. She was the one that dumped me.”
In her autobiography, Adams proves she's just as fearsome and uncompromising on the printed page as she is on the sporting stage.
Watch the video for Mike McRoberts’ full 60 Minutes interview with Adams.
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8/11/2012 8:54:44 a.m.
I don't blame Valerie being pissed off. Even a kapa haka group wouldn't do a haka at that time of the morning. Currie was stupid and culturally insensitive. There is a time and place of when to do a performance.
5/11/2012 11:25:59 a.m.
I've actually just finished reading the book. I've got to agree with her about the timing of the haka, early in the morning where other athletes where sleeping, getting ready for there events. But i think thats all she really need to say. To go and say i quote. I felt like saying, 'Look, I really admire our culture, i admire and appreciate the Maori culture, but we're not all Maori. We respect it, but don't try to ram it down our throat's.' 10 steps back for Maori. And go on to say...'I was born in New Zealand, and I'm proud of that fact. I love my country, and I love representing it. But I'm actually Tongan, not Maoti. There's a big difference. I think theres an underlying issue here. Is it really about the haka??
30/10/2012 1:39:34 a.m.
Understand where your coming from MIKE and yes we do have a wide range of cultures now in NZ, however reality is NZ sports teams etc will always use the Haka as it is unique and indigenous only to NZ. No where else. You will never see a NZ Sports team or group doing English Morris dancing or Irish jigs or Tongan Sipi Tau etc. I think the Haka is being consistently abused by overkill and inappropriate impromptu decision makers who have no right to perform it under the state that they do it (drunk, incorrectly and disorderly)It is wrong, culturally insensitive and disgraceful. This is NOT pushed or ever forced upon by Maori...rather it is from the white rich sponsors, suck up sports committees and government officials that love to "show off" our native culture with "tongues protruding"! If it was up to me I would cease it forthwith until one attains the standard required to perform it and without the influence of alcohol (it was public knowledge that those athletes that performed at 2.am in the morning had been drinking) Haka and Alcohol quite simply do not mix...ever. It tarnishes our sense of good sportsmanship and integrity if all it is used for is to be "show offs" to all the world to see. When Haka is taught and performed correctly, with pride, passion, honestly and appropriately to suit the occasion then we are on the correct path. A perfect example of that was just shown last weekend from the community of Ruatoria at the Meads Cup Rugby Final. That was appropriate, performed magnificently and without flogging a dead horse!
29/10/2012 6:33:52 p.m.
Its time all NZ cultural heritedge is respected, not just one race within that. The pushing one race ahead of all others in all things is an embarrassment.If Maori would put as much effort into other achievement vs cultural they could achieve much more. It doesn't require they throw out thier culture, but for them to focus more on other things, including tolleration of other cultures.Adams is a NZr of Tongan descent. Respect that. If going to push a culture in celebration of her sucess, how about getting the race correct, and make a Tongan cultural display! When anything happens, we get one one culture shoved down our throats when NZ is multicultural.We also need to respect people more. Any performance at 2am is inappropriate. I wouldn't want anyone coming calling at 2am. If want to celebrate something, chose an appropriate time of the day, and this is not 2am.
29/10/2012 1:49:51 p.m.
bill and ben wrote:
Ive gotta agree with kere23. it is embarrassing.the huka use to be special but now it is done at the drop of a hat and it make me cringe when I see drunk white boys do it and it has nothing to do with pride at being a new Zealander but to show off. I’ve been overseas and seen people do the huka in inappropriate places like on the London underground and it intrudes on others around them. Ive been in japan and seen 5 guys do the huka in the street and i had to walk away. I didn’t want to be tarred with the same brush. People think it insulting to see Muslim women wearing burkers in new Zealand and it is the same when kiwis do something that is inappropriate to local customs.When the All Blacks do the huka it is part of the tradition of international rugby and something that they are privileged to do.
29/10/2012 10:05:04 a.m.
This is the very reason you dont let a person like Currie who is culturally inadequate and irresponsible to decide on Maori issues...actually this type of "flashy show off" activity is rampant and needs to cease. I agree it's an embarrassment done by novice white drunken amateurs (shame). And yes the NZ Games Committee do love shoving it down athletes throats! There is a time and place for Haka and the overkill showoff types are not what the athletes should be doing especially under the influence of alcohol. It is disgraceful and embarrassing to Ngati Toa Iwi and Maoridom. For God sake at least teach them properly like what the NZRFU have taken on board.
29/10/2012 7:32:37 a.m.
Val has just gone up 100% i my opinion GO VAL
28/10/2012 10:40:58 p.m.
Anything to flog the book.
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