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UK-New Zealand Trade Deal to Stipulate Protection of Maori War Dance

© AFP 2022 / PATRICK HAMILTONNew Zealand's TJ Perenara (C) leads the haka before the rugby Championship match against South Africa in Townsville on September 25, 2021.
New Zealand's TJ Perenara (C) leads the haka before the rugby Championship match against South Africa in Townsville on September 25, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.10.2021
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A co-leader of the Maori Party reportedly said that the haka is not a commodity – but rather a treasure that has been “gifted” to the All Blacks.
The performance of a certain ceremonial Maori war dance, the Ka Mate haka, in the United Kingdom by non-Maori persons will essentially be banned under the auspices of a new free trade deal between the UK and New Zealand.
According to The Guardian, the deal’s provisions contain mention of "a commitment by the UK to cooperate with New Zealand to identify appropriate ways to advance recognition and protection of the haka Ka Mate."
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While the Ka Mate haka is known to be performed internationally by New Zealand’s national rugby union team, the All Blacks, the newspaper notes that the war dance has been “subject to controversial appropriation” in the UK.
“We must be looking at cultural appropriation – not misappropriation, treating it with a lot more respect and I’m glad that a lot more people are,” said Maori Party Co-leader Rawiri Waititi, who welcomes the new measures.
“You’ve got to understand the concept of haka, and what it’s about,” he explained. “It’s not a commodity to be used in that sort of space, it’s a taonga [treasure] that’s been gifted to the All Blacks by Ngati Toa and Aotearoa and we’re really proud of it.”
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