The UK has committed to protecting the All Blacks’ famous haka from ‘cultural appropriation’ under a surprise new pact linked to Boris Johnson’s free-trade deal with New Zealand.

Jacinda Ardern (the Prime Minister’s Kiwi counterpart), had demanded the clause after Maori groups took offense at former England players and nurses filming videos of the chant.

In 2015, Matt Dawson was slammed by New Zealand groups for posting a video showing him performing a version of the haka choreographed to the 1994 hit Macarena – dubbed the ‘Hakarena’. 

Fans and opponents alike have seen New Zealand rugby players perform Ka Mate. It was written in 1820, but is most well-known for its use as a pre-match battle cry by All Blacks players over the past century. 

The traditional challenge will now be “protected” from being commercially used by anyone other than its native guardians. 

A clause to ‘protect’ the chant was agreed to coincide with a deal that will expand £2.3billion of trade between the UK and New Zealand, and should make imports of some wine and honey cheaper.

TJ Perenara of the All Blacks leads the haka ahead of the Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the South African Springboks at QCB Stadium on September 25, 2021

TJ Perenara, All Blacks, leads the haka before the Rugby Championship match between New Zealand All Blacks vs South African Springboks at QCB Stadium in September 25, 2021

Boris Johnson video calls Jacinda Ardern from Number 10 Downing Street to mark the UK-New Zealand Trade Deal on October 20, 2021

Boris Johnson video calls Jacinda Adern from Number 10 Downing Street, to mark the UK-New Zealand Trade Deal.

Why is the haka performed 

The haka is a type of ancient Māori war dance traditionally used on the battlefield, as well as when groups came together in peace.

Haka are a powerful display of pride, strength and unity among a tribe.

To accompany a loud chant, actions include violent foot-stamping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic body shaking.

A haka’s words often describe in poetic terms the ancestors and events in the tribe’s history.

Today, haka are still used during Māori ceremonies and celebrations to honour guests and show the importance of the occasion. This applies to all family events, such as weddings or birthdays.


Britain must ‘acknowledge Ngati Toa Rangatira’s [the leaders of the Ngati Toa tribe]According to the agreement, guardianship of haka’ is granted.

The UK has been accused of cultural appropriation. 

A group of nurses apologized after performing an altered haka in facepaint. This was labeled’verging upon being racist’ by Karaitiana Taiuru, a cultural adviser.

Māori party co-leader Rawiri Waititi told the New Zealand Herald that the new protections should be welcomed. 

He stated, “We must look at cultural appropriation – not misappropriation, and treat it with a lot less respect, and I’m glad that more people are doing so.”

“You need to get to grips with the concept of haka and its meaning. It’s not something to be used in this kind of space. [treasure]It was gifted by Aotearoa & Ngati Toa to the All Blacks and we are very proud of it.

However, English rugby chiefs insist that the new stipulation will not adversely affect players’ behavior on the pitch. 

England’s captain Owen Farrell stood at a front V-shaped formation facing the haka in 2019, and he smiled and winked during the performance.  

The team was later reprimanded, and the team was fined, as World Rugby regulations stipulate that opponents must not cross half-way.

England insiders dismissed the idea that players would be reluctant to take such a stance once again. They insisted that any response on pitch was not cultural appropriation, just as they wouldn’t imitate a haka.

It was just as British farmers decried the new deal, warning that cheap lamb would damage their livelihoods.

The agreement will end quotas for lamb, beef, and dairy products in 15 years. This has raised concerns that meat from Britain might be sold at a lower price than it is here.

Minette Batters, President of National Farmers’ Union, stated that the UK should be’very concerned’ about this deal. She said to BBC: “It will have an enormous impact because we have fully opened our marketplace.

TJ Perenara of the All Blacks leads the haka ahead of the Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the South

TJ Perenara, All Blacks, leads the haka in preparation for the Rugby Championship match between New Zealand All Blacks vs South

“Not only on lamb, but also on dairy – we have high standards in dairy production, very high costs of production… trade must fair… our Government must now explain to us how these deals will tangibly benefit UK agriculture.

New Zealand’s meat production is more affordable due to factors like a milder climate and higher yields.

Labour argued that the deal would reduce the competitiveness and maintain the standards required of farmers. 

Emily Thornberry, international trade spokesperson, told MPs that the deal would lead to a reduction in growth and jobs for the UK’s farming sector.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan International Trade Secretary replied, “We will not compromise food standards for food coming to the UK.”

The deal will see tariffs up to ten percent removed from UK exports including clothing and footwear. Britons will be able to live and work in New Zealand much easier.

Popular New Zealand products such as manuka honey, kiwi fruits, and wine will be less expensive here. 

Although British trade with New Zealand is only worth about £2.3billion a year, negotiators hope that it will help the UK to be accepted into the mammoth Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade bloc which includes Australia, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Vietnam.