English language haka goes viral

By Semi Holland

A Youtube clip of a Wellington man performing a haka in English is gaining traction online.  

22-year-old Winara Levi, who performed the haka, says when Māori perform haka the messages fall on deaf ears so he wanted to show non-Māori the anger expressed by Māori following the 150th commemoration of the New Zealand land wars. 

Winara Levi's haka has had nearly 2000 views in just three days on YouTube.

He says he wanted to send a message to non-Māori.

Levi says, “How many times Māori have expressed our concerns and problems to Pākehā yet it all falls on deaf ears.  They have no idea what we mean.”

Winara performed the haka at Poetry in Motion in Wellington, an inclusive group, which aims to raise the profile of spoken word as a fun and entertaining art form and challenge people's notions of what poetry is and can be.

“I composed that haka not long after the 150th commemoration of the NZ Wars,” says Levi,

“This haka provided a way to express that anger and passion.”

Winara says he also wanted to use the haka for his podcast show called The Ranting Kiwi, which he established with close friend Liam Jennings.

Jennings says, “When we started seeing the views start happening yesterday and today, that’s when it was hitting us, you know, ‘hey we've actually done some good here’, because not only is that bringing understanding for people to understand the haka and the meaning of it, but also for our podcast and our show. It's gonna give us (a) chance to get that little leap through ”

Winara says he hopes to perform more haka in future in an effort to educate more non-Māori about the messages behind haka.

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