A super-sized Māori haka, staged simultaneously in New Zealand’s four main cities, will unite Kiwis in sending a powerful message of strength and support for the people of Christchurch.
The country’s leading airport transfer service, Super Shuttle, has joined forces with South Island Māori iwi / tribe Ngāi Tahu to inspire Kiwis throughout New Zealand, and those living abroad, to take part in the mass event.
For two minutes from 12.30pm next Thursday (19.05.11), massed groups will perform the iconic Māori war dance in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin - as a gesture to those affected by the earthquakes in Christchurch.
Superhaka.com While New Zealanders are performing en masse, other Kiwis who can’t attend or may be living abroad can also take part with their own breakaway haka. They can record their haka and upload on the event website: superhaka.com
Super Shuttle says it has facilitated the inherently Kiwi event to remind the people of Christchurch that they are not alone in their time of need. They also hope the event will raise money for the ravaged city.
People wanting to take part in the Ngāi Tahu ‘Super Haka’ can register on superhaka.com.
Call of support Organisers say it is a call of support, from those outside the region, for Ōtautahi / Christchurch.
The message of the simple haka is demonstrated in its first line - Ōtautahi, māraka, māraka - which they describe as a rallying call for Christchurch and its people to rise up again, and to remain resolute as they rebuild.
Super Shuttle directors, Peter King and Graeme Dobson, said their team of Christchurch employees was affected by the earthquake, and the idea for a super haka grew out of a determination to help boost community morale.
Māori Recovery Network Māori tribe Ngāi Tahu have been active in their work for Christchurch earthquake victims by spearheading the Māori Recovery Network.
"During the recovery we have been promoting the message ‘aroha ki te tangata' [love to all people]," Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu kaiwhakahaere / chairman Mark Solomon said.
"With initiatives like the super haka, it shows that New Zealand businesses and communities are still standing firmly behind the people of Christchurch and that helps to make us stronger during this difficult time."
Super haka events The four simultaneous super haka events will take place at:
Auckland: Aotea Square - The Edge
Wellington: Odlins Plaza - Wellington Waterfront
Christchurch: CBS Arena Carpark - Addington
Dunedin: The Octagon - City Centre
Haka and Rugby World Cup The haka was made internationally famous by the New Zealand All Blacks, and it will be very much in evidence during Rugby World Cup 2011 - to be held in New Zealand in September and October this year.
As well as being performed by the New Zealand rugby side prior to each match, visitors will be able to try their hand at the Māori posture dance.
An exhibition telling the story of the Ka Mate haka, often attributed to Māori tribe Ngati Toa’s chief Te Rauparaha, will be installed in Te Papa - the National Museum of New Zealand, in Wellington, before the Rugby World Cup kicks off in September.
The interactive exhibition will give visitors the chance to learn about and perform the haka. People will be able to download their performance as a memento.
About 85,000 international visitors are expected for the Rugby World Cup.
The All Blacks have performed the haka with varying degrees of fervour since 1905.
Earlier this year, Ngati Toa signed a confidential agreement with the New Zealand Rugby Union, giving the All Blacks the right to continue performing Ka Mate.