Maori leaders at odds over flash mob haka
Tue, 20 Sep 2011 8:39a.m.
The All Blacks performing a haka
A Maori leader says the haka has been "bastardised by sport", backing comments made by Springboks coach Peter de Villiers' that the haka is overused.
On Sunday, De Villiers said the haka is less respected at a powhiri for the visiting Rugby World Cup Springboks by Lake Taupo iwi Ngati Tuwharetoa at Opotaka, the so-called birthplace of 'Ka Mate'.
Peter Love, a trustee of Te Atiawa's Wellington Tenths Trust, agrees, saying the haka has been "hijacked by rugby people", Fairfax NZ reports on Tuesday.
"I'm concerned our (Maori) culture is being abused by the overuse and inappropriateness of the haka when it is performed outside special occasions," Mr Love says.
"The haka in our culture is something which is regarded as special and should not be bastardised by sport.
"Peter de Villiers is dead right when he says it is losing its respect."
Mr Love doesn't agree with haka being performed spontaneously by "flash mob haka groups".
"The haka is a challenge, not something which is performed as an expression of delight.
"Who told those people they could do that? The haka is an orchestrated representation of our culture when it is used in an appropriate place but it is being abused."
But Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell disagrees.
"The young people are using these forums to do the haka exactly right - why not let them do it?"