Topics: Kapa Haka, Te Arawa, Rugby

Rotorua new home of world's largest haka

By Leah Te Whata
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Rotorua attempted to break a world record today with more than 7800 people standing to perform the haka Ka Mate at Rotorua's Village Green.

Eyes bulged and stomping feet rattled the ground at today's world record attempt in Rotorua.

People came in droves to take part in the mass haka lead by haka legends, Wetini Mitai-Ngātai and Eraia Kiel.

Te Arawa descendent Eraia Kiel says, "Thousands of people have come to these sacred lands of Whakaaue Kaipapa, Kouranga Whitiwhiti on the call of Tāne Rore to demonstrate the haka."

There was comradery on both sides ahead of tonight's Lions and Māori's clash, with hundreds of British and Irish supporters getting their haka on.

"We've all come together as one family today. They (the Lion's) have come to help us, they've come to uplift this event by participating in the day and celebrate them being amongst us," says Wetini Mitai-Ngatai, Te Arawa.

The crowd roared as the announcement was made indicating that the official count was almost twice that of the previous record holders, France.

Raukura kapa haka performer Te Ao Leach says, "I think it's really great to see all these people coming together and standing together as one, yeah it's awesome."

"It feels great, it's like winning a rugby game. It's cool that we've won this record. Just awesome," adds Te Okiwa Morgan.

Confident event officials have submitted record-breaking evidence to Guinness World Records and are awaiting confirmation.