Topics: Entertainment, MataHaka

Ka Mate gets the mana it deserves at Te Matatini

By Taroi Black
  • Wellington

Iwi leader Kahu Ropata says Ngāti Toa and Ngāti Raukawa will work alongside Te Ātiawa to perform Ka Mate, arguably the most influential haka in the world at Waitangi Park.

“It is recognised as a national treasure," says Ropata, "So it's appropriate for Ngāti Toa people to share its history for those travelling in to experience our efforts as part of the local hosts.”

“Other tribes only know the haka as 'ka mate, ka mate'.  However, that is one verse to a very long haka piece which has played a major role for our people's existence.  To us, it belongs to Te Rauparaha.”   

Ngāti Toa has had long-standing concerns about the appropriate use of Ka Mate and the respect afforded to the haka in light of its use by the All Blacks.

“Our iwi signed the Ka Mate Ka Mate Attribution Bill through our settlement to recognise our rightful role as sole guardians of the haka.  For whoever uses it should acknowledge its origins.”