Wellington: The Maori tribe that owns rights to the "Ka Mate" haka told anti-vaccine protesters on Monday (Nov 15) to stop performing the famous ritual at demonstrations.
The Ngati Toa - a tribe or iwi in Maori - is recognised under New Zealand law as the cultural guardian of the Ka Mate haka, which has featured prominently at recent protests against coronavirus-related restrictions.
"Ngati Toa condemns the use of the Ka Mate haka to push and promote anti-COVID-19-vaccination messages," the tribe, based just outside Wellington, said in a statement.
"We insist that protesters stop using our taonga (cultural treasure) immediately.".
Maori haka come in many forms but Ka Mate - which has been performed by the All Blacks ahead of rugby Test matches for more than a century - is by far the best known.
Ka Mate is Ngati Toa's haka, composed by the warrior chief Te Rauparaha around 1820 to celebrate his escape from a rival tribe's pursuing war party.
The iwi has previously spoken out against commercialisation of the haka and versions that satirise or disrespect the ritual. »