New Zealand Maori tribe urge vaccination demonstrators to give up the haka dance: NPR

New Zealand Maori tribe urge vaccination demonstrators to give up the haka dance: NPR


Protesters against the vaccination mandate hold a haka in Wellington, New Zealand last week.

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Protesters against the vaccination mandate hold a haka in Wellington, New Zealand last week.

Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images

A New Zealand Māori tribe has called for anti-vaccine mandate supporters to stop using their ceremonial dance, the “ka mate” haka, during protests.

Traditionally performed before the battle, the dance, designed to show tribal pride and unity, is an intimidating display of singing, stamping feet, protruding the tongue, and rhythmic body clapping. It was popularized by the New Zealand rugby team All Blacks, who run it before each friendly match starts.

The Ngati Toa, who gained legal control of the ka mate – the tribe’s unique version of the haka – protested strongly on Monday after protesters were seen at the recent rallies.

Taku Parai, a tribal leader, called on the demonstrators to “immediately” stop using the Ka Mate.

“We don’t support their position and we don’t want ours [tribe] connected with their messages, “he said aloud New Zealand Herald.

Last week, thousands of people, some of whom waved Trump flags, marched to New Zealand’s parliament or rode motorcycles to protest a government mandate that doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other health care workers be fully vaccinated by December, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. According to the mandate, teachers and other educational professionals have until January to get vaccinated.

Brian Tamaki, the leader of the fundamentalist Destiny Church in New Zealand and a right wing activist, is a prominent figure in the country’s anti-vaccine movement.

According to Radio New Zealand, Tamaki, himself a member of two Māori tribes, planned to teach demonstrators the Ka Mate Haka for future demonstrations.

“Our message to protesters who want to use Ka Mate is to use a different haka,” Modlik said.

Vaccination rates among the Māori are below the national average in New Zealand, according to the government, with only 61% being fully vaccinated.

Some Māori leaders have criticized the government’s decision to end the lockdowns, with New Zealand Māori party co-chair Debbie Ngarewa-Packer calling the move a “death sentence” for indigenous communities.

“Many of ours [ancestors] have lost their lives in previous pandemics, “said the chief executive of the tribe, Helmut Modlik, in a statement.

“We are absolutely clear that the COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection we have,” Modlik said, adding that the Ngati Toa are “committed to vaccinating their populations as soon as possible possible to support “.



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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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