New documentary explores misappropriation of haka

By Mare Haimona-Riki

A new documentary is highlighting the misuse and misappropriation of the haka worldwide.

Haka Haha director Corinna Hunziker says the inspiration for this short documentary came from her experience seeing these videos emerge online over the years.  

“Seeing so many haka being performed for years, and always having a laugh first, and then I share on social media and there always lots of comments on it.

“But underneath that laughter was always a bit of icky-ness and that’s not right, so it got me asking 'how do we protect the haka?'.”

Haka Haha by Loading Docs

Hunziker says that among many of the less than impressive performances from non-Māori, there were some that gave it the respect that it deserves.

“We didn’t want it to come across as, ‘we don’t want people to do the haka.’ We’re not saying that. We just really want to encourage people to seek the right people to execute it properly.”