Mass haka honours Hugh Jackman and Keala Settle

updated By Jessica Tyson

Hugh Jackman and Keala Settle, stars of The Greatest Showman were in tears after receiving a haka today from more than 100 students at AUT University in Manukau.

Settle and Jackman are here to announce the New Zealand leg of Jackman’s The Man. The Music. The Show. world tour this September.

During the haka Jackman and Settle stood side by side while the students from the Oceania Voices choir performed Tika Tonu.

“It was one of the most powerful performances I’ve ever experienced,” says Jackman.

Engineering student Rahiri Maihi, 18, of Ngāpuhi led the haka and says the experience was surreal.

“I think that goes to prove how much heart we put into doing our haka because the more heart we put into the haka the more feelings are reciprocated from those who are receiving it.”

After the performance, Jackman and Settle were gifted taonga.

Settle, from Hawaii and of Rangitāne and Ngāti Kahungunu descent, will be making a special appearance in the New Zealand tour, performing the Golden Globe award-winning song This Is Me.  

She became the first Māori woman to sing at the Oscars last year performing the waiata described by the New York Times as commanding and a perfect summation of, “what became the themes of the night – diversity, empowerment, [and] inclusion.”

The song is also popular in te ao Māori after its tune was used to perform waiata by haka groups, including multiple groups at the national Te Matatini competition.

Hugh Jackman has made an impression on audiences of all ages with his multi-hyphenate career persona, including his role as metal claw-wielding Wolverine in X-Men.

“Fans can expect to hear some of his greatest successes from stage and screen, including songs from The Greatest ShowmanLes Misérables and other Broadway shows.”

The tour will include two shows at Auckland’s Spark Arena on September 6 and 7.