Monday, July 15, 2024
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Right haka decision made

By Don Farmer

[email protected]

There must have been thousands of disappointed school children in Wairarapa this week when the huge haka world record attempt was stood down.

Not just children either as many adults were looking forward to the occasion too but the children who had put in many hours of preparation would have felt the most deflated.

However, organisers did the right thing under the circumstances and should be applauded for making a quick and decisive decision.

The weather forecast was awful and regardless of whether the actual outcome of that was as bad as expected that was not the point.

Risking the health, safety and welfare of 7000 young people, some even being pre-schoolers, cannot be contemplated.

Anyone who has had to organise something on a big scale would know it doesn’t come easy, especially when the participants are children, and the haka was, and hopefully still will be, on a new date, on a very big scale.

I doubt whether Memorial Park in Masterton has had 7000 participants in any sport or activity ever and I can’t recall any Wairarapa venue that has, but stand to be corrected on that.

What I do know is that there has never officially been a haka party of 7000 or anything like it anywhere in the world.

Let us send a message to the haka organisers telling them it’s a great undertaking and one we will support when the day does dawn.

After all we cannot allow the world haka record to remain the property of French rugby fans.

That’s the closest thing to blasphemy I can imagine.

Adding another dimension to the haka record attempt is the fact the haka to be performed was written by Papawai man Paora Ammunson.

My instincts as a writer tell me writing a haka would be no mean feat requiring a range of skills beyond just words.

Without having any knowledge of what Mr Ammunson has come up with I would think aspects of his haka would involve words, actions, soul, history and meaning co-ordination.

If that’s right then it’s a task not easily achieved.

I, for one, am looking forward immensely to the finished product.


Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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