10 Aug 2010

Cultural adviser supports schoolboy rugby haka

3:05 pm on 10 August 2010

A Maori cultural adviser to national sports teams supports an end to the ban on players performing the haka at a northern region school rugby tournament.

Labour list MP Kelvin Davis, of Northland, has said the ban at the annual Northern Roller Mills Tournament is ridiculous.

Tournament officials say they banned the haka on the field because it has caused assaults and hostility, so the 12- and 13-year-olds are forced to do the haka in their dressing rooms.

The cultural adviser, New Amsterdam Reedy, says the haka is intimidating but it settles players' nerves and allows them to focus.

He says both the haka and rugby are intimidating activities, and not for the faint-hearted.