Social Media frenzy over Miss World NZ’s haka

By Mānia Clarke

A haka performance by Miss World NZ has caused a frenzy on social media. But a female kapahaka leader says she has sympathy for 24 year old Deborah Lambie who decided to showcase New Zealand by performing the haka at the Miss World competition in China. 

The performance posted to Facebook which has caused a frenzy on social media.

“We're all quick to judge and criticise this performance, but maybe a lesson can be learnt from this, use caution when teaching those unfamiliar to the Māori culture” says kapa haka tutor, Ana Berry-Tumoana.

Kapa haka tutor Kereama Te Ua decided to teach her, despite his initial apprehension, as she had never performed before.  But he says, because of her real respect and heart to want to learn and showcase our Māori culture as a New Zealander, he agreed to tutor her.

Mrs Berry-Tumoana believed the young lady was genuine "The performance looked like it came from the heart, if it's done with the right intentions, who am I to judge. It's unfair for me to say she shouldn't perform the haka just because she's Pākehā.”

Makaira Berry who is a former leader of Te Wharekura o Hoani Waititi says “She still deserves credit for showcasing Māori through haka. But some aspects of it were questionable and came across masculine.”