Story: Kapa Haka

Haka pōwhiri for Māori Battalion, 1946

Welcoming important guests has always been an occasion for kapa haka performances. This clip from a government newsreel shows the haka pōwhiri on Wellington’s Aotea Quay in January 1946 for 780 members of 28 (Māori) Battalion. The performance features women using traditional weapons such as taiaha. When this practice was reintroduced by kapa haka in the 1990s, it was often condemned as contrary to Māori custom.

Using this item

Archives New Zealand – Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: Weekly Review 232. National Film Unit, 1946

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How to cite this page:

Valance Smith, 'Kapa Haka - What is kapa haka?', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 April 2024)

Story by Valance Smith, published 22 Oct 2014, reviewed & revised 9 Feb 2023