Trampling, rolling eyes and cheering fervently, some anti-vaccine activists have grabbed Maori Haka during protests against coronavirus restrictions in New Zealand. An initiative that displeases the Ngati Toa tribe who asks them to stop using this ritual during their gatherings.
Maori haka has many forms, but the Ka Mate is the most famous, and especially popularized by the All Blacks, members of the national team of Football, who have been doing this before every game for over a century. Anti-vaccine protesters replicated this version of the ritual, intellectual property rights held by the Ngati Toa tribe, under New Zealand law.
Ka mate! We take you back to the All Blacks’ first Hakka game of 2020 against Australia in Wellington.
AllBlacks May 20 2021
For these Maori, Ka Mate haka is a “taongo”, or cultural treasure. This ritual, which combines military dance and singing, is deeply rooted in their traditions and is used on special occasions such as wedding parties or the funeral. It was formed in the year 1820, by Te Rauparaha, the warlord of the Ngati Twa tribe, who had just escaped from the enemy.
Nearly two centuries later, in 2014, the New Zealand Parliament recognized his descendants as guardians of this Hakka. Since then, the Ngati Toa tribe has fiercely defended this ritual, denouncing certain commercial uses but also satirical or disrespectful versions. However, national law does not provide for any penalty in the case of use considered offensive.
Vaccine, ‘Our Best Protection’
In a statement, these Maori condemned “the use of ka mate haka to highlight and promote Covid-19 vaccination messages”. “Many tupuna (our ancestors, editor’s note) lost their lives in previous epidemics, recalls Helmut Modlick, CEO Ngati Tua. Vaccine against COVID-19 It is our best protection.”
However, according to Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, Indigenous youth are particularly vulnerable to misinformation about Covid-19. In response to a question from the TNVZ television channel, on Monday, November 15, she said that she has CNNHe lamented the difficulties faced by the health authorities in reaching this audience, stressing that the matter is “not just a problem with access.”
According to figures as of November 13, 76% of Maori in New Zealand had received their first dose of anti-Covid-19 vaccine, while 60% had been fully vaccinated. Nationwide, 81% of the eligible population have completed their vaccination course, although Jacinda Ardern has set herself the goal of seeing 90% of New Zealanders receive the vaccination before containment measures are lifted, which is still underway.
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