Haka - Māori war dances

Prepare yourself for the energy and awe of the haka.

The haka is a type of ancient Māori war dance traditionally used on the battlefield, as well as when groups came together in peace. Haka are a fierce display of a tribe’s pride, strength and unity. Actions include violent foot-stamping, tongue protrusions and rhythmic body slapping to accompany a loud chant. The words of a haka often poetically describe ancestors and events in the tribe’s history.

Today, haka are still used during Māori ceremonies and celebrations to honour guests and show the importance of the occasion. They are also used to challenge opponents on the sports field. You may have seen a haka performed by New Zealand’s All Blacks before a rugby match? You’ll probably agree that it’s a terrifying sight to behold!

Learn to haka 

Join Robin Brooke, All Black Lock from 1992 to 1999, as he introduces the stories and the meanings behind this ancient Māori dance.

Learn the words and actions of the haka and discover why this cultural icon is an important expression of New Zealand identity, both on and off the field.

> Launch the haka feature (Requires Adobe Flash Player)

Where to see the haka

Apart from going to watch the All Blacks play rugby, there are plenty of places where you can witness a live haka. Here are a few options, from north to south.

Northland

Auckland

Rotorua

Christchurch