Women's Super Rugby – 'Puppets of this backward government': The haka becomes a government affair in New Zealand

Women's Super Rugby – 'Puppets of this backward government': The haka becomes a government affair in New Zealand

To show their dissatisfaction with the state's discriminatory attitudes towards Māori, Hurricanes players performed a haka against the government. This clearly did not satisfy those in higher positions…

“Karetao o te Kawana kakiwhero.” This phrase has been on everyone's lips over the past few days in New Zealand. Last weekend, before the match against Manawa Chiefs (24-46), the Haka leader, Pillar of Hurricanes BoaLeilani Pires said this phrase in Maori which means… “Puppets of this backward government”. This haka refers to Toitū Te Tiriti, a political movement that took a stand against the New Zealand government regarding Maori. The latter have been complaining for several months about decisions taken against them by those in power. In New Zealand. More specifically, they condemn violations of the Treaty of Waitangi. Signed by British settlers and Maori chiefs in 1840, it is considered the founding document of the New Zealand state and remains very important in local politics today.

In recent weeks, the land of the long white cloud has been shaken by widespread debate. The law banning tobacco consumption for all persons born after 1 January 2009 was finally repealed. In addition, amendments to the Smoke-Free Environments and Controlled Products Act 1990 were also repealed. After the dissolution of the Māori health authority Te Aka y Ora, this repeal was seen as an attack On the part of the Maori.

Players were frustrated by the current political environment

In this context, Leilani Peiris and her partners wanted to show their support for the Maori people. “My non-Māori teammates, I sat down with them and explained what was going on with our governmentShe said. All the work our people have done for Māori, what the government is trying to do and what I feel. They completely understood. “They understand the pain we are going through, the anger and frustration.”

To find out how to express these feelings, Poula Hurricanes players contacted Hiniway Boumare, a former rugby player turned composer. It was she who came up with the idea for this haka with the famous “Puppets of This Backward Government” previously. “They were frustrated by the current political environment and were looking for words that reflected that feeling and added a little excitement to the existing hakareplayed the game for the New Zealand Herald. We currently have elected officials funded by right-wing interests who advocate white supremacy. We see that, even last week and in recent weeks. Repeal the anti-smoking law and dismantle Te Aka y Ora…”

The club distances itself from its players

Obviously in New Zealand, where rugby is king, this haka has sparked a lot of talk. “If they had focused more on the tackles and how they played instead of spending all their energy doing the haka and trying to attack the government so hard, they might not have been beaten so badly.”This was announced by Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister and president since its founding of the New Zealand First party, which is currently in power, with the right-wing coalition ruling the country.

Hurricanes general manager Avan Lee said “Very disappointed. There was no discussion or consultation and some of the words used were very strong. The Hurricanes should not be making a political statement. If the club does this it should be approved by the whole organization because we have players and staff who do not feel comfortable with what is being said.” ”

Hurricanes apologizes to government over Hakka “backward” Poua

Hurricanes used a modified pua haka that used the phrase “karetao o te Kāwana kakiwhero” or “the puppets of this backward government”.

It's not Boa's fault. Our children have been brainwashed in schools since 2018. pic.twitter.com/2XYfo6kjYa

– New Zealand Media Watch (@nz_media_watch) March 5, 2024

Words that contradict what Leilani Peres said: “I sent it to management at the last minute. They told me: “Go on. We support you 100%.” But the New Zealand international is not worried about the negative reactions her ruling has caused. “I don't careshe initiated. I believe in what we say, and I stand by it. We wanted this haka to represent not only Māori, but also people of all races and cultures, whether we are Māori, Samoan, Tongan, Indian, etc. I thought it was important to say this because we have a lot of other ethnicities on our team. “I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just about one culture, it was about all of us.” This Saturday, March 9, the preliminary matches for the Hurricanes girls, who will face the Matatu and the boys, Who would welcome the Blues?will be closely examined!

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