Topic: Kapa Haka

Rotorua to attempt to break record for world's largest haka

By Online News - Rereātea
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

In just one month time, Rotorua locals will partake is what is hoped will be the world's largest haka. 

More than 6,200 people will partake in the the haka, Ka Mate, which will be lead by students of Rotorua Boys' High School at Rotorua's Village Green on June 17. 

The International Rugby Club hopes to beat the current Guinness World Record for the largest haka as part of its Rugby Safari following the DHL NZ Lions Tour 2017.

The Club’s co-founder Tony Molloy says that there is no better place than Rotorua to reclaim the record for the world’s largest haka.

“We were inspired by the fact the record was (and still officially is) held by the French! It needed to be reclaimed by New Zealand and what better place than Rotorua?

Staging it before the Rotorua game where the Māori All Blacks will face off against The British and Irish Lions just couldn’t be a better setting,” Mr Molloy says.

The official record currently stands at 4,028 kaihaka. This was achieved at an event organised by car manufacturer Mazda in Brive-la-Gaillarde, France in 2014. 

The number to beat however is 6,200 which was the number of participants who performed a haka in Masterton last November although their attempt is yet to be officially ratified.

That means almost 10% of Rotorua’s population will need to be at the venue on the day. 

To assist with the world record attempt, Bay of Plenty Regional Council has offered to make all City Rides bus services free that day.

Mr Molloy says it’s about welcoming fans, visitors and The British and Irish Lions to Rotorua.

“We want as many Rotorua locals as possible to join the Giant Haka and see it as something they can be part of with a degree of pride in claiming the record on behalf of their town.”

Rotorua Lakes Council Kaitiaki Māori, Te Arawa kaumatua Monty Morrison, says the record attempt is a significant opportunity for the Rotorua community to profile its strong culture on the international stage.

“We want everybody to be a part of this haka and support the Māori All Blacks before the big game, our community together with visitors from around the country and abroad. We want to see the Village Green full to capacity with 10,000 people on the day.

“We acknowledge the history of the haka that will be performed, Ka Mate. It is testament to the ihi and wehi, the power and integrity, of the composer Te Rauparaha and his people, Ngāti Toa Rangatira. ”

In the lead up to the attempt on 17 June The International Rugby Club, with help from Rotorua Lakes Council, will encourage local sports teams, organisations and schools to post their haka practise videos on the Giant Haka Facebook page.