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Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



All Blacks' Haka

From the time when the first New Zealand Rugby Union representatives, the “Native” team of 1888–89, toured the British Isles, the players delighted the crowds with their haka given prior to each game. It is not clear what their haka was, but the All Blacks of 1905 gave the haka of Te Rauparaha. The famous “Invincibles” of 1924–25 had their own haka, written during the voyage to England by Judge Acheson, of the Native Land Court, and Wiremu Rangi, of Gisborne. There were two parts, the second usually being omitted.

Haka - First Part

Leader: Kia whaka ngawari au ia hau.

Team: I … au … E … Hei …

Leader: Ko Niu Tireni e haruru nei.

Team: Au … au … aue … ha … hei.

Leader: Ko Niu Tireni e haruru nei.

Team: Au … au … aue … ha … hei.

Leader: A … haha.

Team: Katu te ihi i hi.
Katu te wanawana
Kirunga te rangi
E tu iho nei.
Au au au.

Leader: Let us prepare ourselves for the fray.

Team: We are ready.

Leader: The New Zealand storm is about to break.

Team: The sound of the breaking.

Leader: The New Zealand storm waxes fiercer.

Team: The height of the storm.

Leader: Now then.

Team: We shall stand as children of the sun.
We shall climb to the heavens in exultation of spirit.
We shall attain the Zenith.
The power! The power!

There is no “official” haka for All Black teams, but Te Rauparaha's “Ka Mate” is generally favoured though sometimes there have been variations. The 1963–64 All Black team gave the standard version of this haka during their tour of Britain.

by Alexander Hare McLintock, C.B.E., M.A., DIP.ED. (N.Z.), PH.D.(LOND.), Parliamentary Historian, Wellington.

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