15 Nov 2021

Ngāti Toa tells anti-vaccination protesters to stop using its haka

2:43 pm on 15 November 2021

Ngāti Toa is calling for anti-vaccination protesters to stop using its haka, Ka Mate.

thousands march through central Wellington for an anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination protest

Thousands of protesters marched to Parliament for various Covid-19-related reasons last Tuesday. Photo: RNZ / Sam Rillstone

One of the country's most well-known haka, Ka Mate was composed by Ngāti Toa tupuna Te Rauparaha.

The iwi says it was moved to make a statement after witnessing the haka being performed at anti-vaccine protests.

It said it has also been alerted to suggestions that Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki was planning to teach it to attendees at future protests.

"As the descendants of Te Rauparaha, we insist that protesters stop using our taonga immediately," Pou Tikanga Dr Taku Parai said in a statement.

"We do not support their position and we do not want our tupuna or our iwi associated with their messages. "

He said Ngāti Toa condemned the use of Ka Mate to push and promote anti-vaccine messages.

"Ngati Toa has been proactive in the protection of our whānau against Covid-19 with our Ora Toa Health Services being a major provider of Covid-19 vaccinations across our rohe," Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira chief executive Helmut Modlik said in the same statement.

"Many of our tupuna lost their lives in previous pandemics and our iwi suffered greatly. We are absolutely clear that the Covid-19 vaccine is the best protection we have available to us, and we are committed to supporting our whānau to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

"Our message to protesters who wish to use Ka Mate is to use a different haka. We do not endorse the use of Ka Mate for this purpose."

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