Latest News

German fitness programme rips Maori #haka styles (+video)

German fitness programme rips Maori #haka styles (+video)


(Stacy Kirk, Stuff.co.nz) A Kiwi-inspired fitness craze sweeping through Germany has taken parts of the New Zealand haka and turned it into “Maori Tae Bo”, which has academics and Maori authorities questioning its legitimacy.

The programme, called Aroha, is taught in more than 200 gyms throughout Germany, according to its website.

It was created by former Les Mills Germany fitness instructor Bernhard  Jakszt , who said he “just finds the Maori culture so inspiring”.

According to the website, Aroha is a mix of haka, kung fu and tai chi. The haka component apparently “demonstrates the extraordinary force that is slumbering within every human”.

“Haka evokes the force in the middle, an inner centre, that leads to a general well being,” the website says.

Jakszt has also trademarked the term Aroha – meaning love in Maori – and has used a number of koru patterns on associated merchandise.

Auckland man Reuben Hamill came across the site after his German father-in-law asked if he’d heard of Aroha.

Hamill said after watching a promotional video on the site it was evident “this guy has taken a Maori work, used the German love of all things Kiwi and created some kind of fitness scam”.

He said it could only be described as “Maori Tae Bo”.

Victoria University senior lecturer Aroha Mead said it was not just about the use of haka in their exercise routines.

They use Maori language names in all aspects of their branding, they have trademarked ‘Aroha’ and placed a registration mark on other Maori generic names.

She said they also used Maori iconography in their t-shirts, clothing, studio and videos.

“While acknowledging they have been inspired by Maori culture in New Zealand, it is a big jump to be inspired and then trademark a Maori name and use all Maori images and movements in their products.

Te Matatini executive director Darrin Apanui said it was a good thing other countries were taking an interest in the Maori culture, but it was important the art form was being performed properly.

“The big question is where have they learnt this? If they’ve been taught properly, by someone who knows the movements and what they mean then it’s not so much of an issue. But we would be questioning whether they had been.

“For us the main thing is that the art form is performed properly and not desecrated for financial gain.”

Te Matatini host the National Haka Championships every year and the Te Matatini Kapa Haka group hold the 2012 title.

They have just wrapped up a tour of German museums, where they were also hosted as guest of honour at the Frankfurt Museum Riverbank Festival.

Latest Tweets

  • DigitalMaoriMaori News: Iwi eager to unite its people in celebration http://t.co/BGgzo29LCI #maori #indigenous about 10 hours ago
  • DigitalMaori@dairycocky No it's not. Pakeha rich list, Pakeha only prime ministers. Who has all the power? Not us. Crying now cos u have to share. Lol. about 23 hours ago
  • DigitalMaori@dairycocky & if you're asking me personally, hell yea! If we can't eliminate poverty & racism, I'm totally for proMaori policies about 23 hours ago
  • DigitalMaori@dairycocky race based? Read some history then get back to me. about 23 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @kaupapamaori: In every community there are leaders who are willing to take on the challenge. We need to find & resource those people. L… about 24 hours ago
  • DigitalMaori@dairycocky anyway I can hear of your your cows going mad out back. Must've heard about novapay. Better go check #mooove about 24 hours ago
  • DigitalMaori@dairycocky @Olivefarmer yea any party. The night before he gave Annette the biggest hug. He's promoting his film &supporting his cousin about 24 hours ago
  • DigitalMaori@Megapope dang. And we were all hoping lol about 24 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @kaupapamaori: Angeline Greensill talking on the Treaty and protecting our environment. http://t.co/jDS9Wmd0aT about 24 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @kaupapamaori: We need to urgently address food sovereignty, climate change and protecting our environment. Angeline Greensill about 24 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @kaupapamaori: "What concerns me is that we win over 34 seats and we don't have enough on the list... Get on the roll and vote" Angeline… about 24 hours ago
  • DigitalMaori@dairycocky @Olivefarmer what you mean this guy? With Annette's Sykes. Oh that's right lol http://t.co/FlzMNIb2lt about 24 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriMaori News: Pu Konohi Art Auction http://t.co/ryDg0tt4aB #maori #indigenous about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriMaori News: Amazing opportunity for Rangatahi wanting to work with Vodafone http://t.co/rfLsrQrq3Y #maori #indigenous about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @kiwinerd: @DigitalMaori i think that article overuses the trope of indigenous nations dying out. about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriMaori News: Mauri Hauora Walk Talk 6 by Olly Ohlson http://t.co/im8LZW3dOr #maori #indigenous about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @patsalwhk: @DigitalMaori you rock @InternetPartyNZ feeling star struck x http://t.co/3lCqHyVlcy about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriMaori News: The M?ori Party dismisses Act Party claims of race-based privilege http://t.co/rH4AVMKeLh #maori #indigenous about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @TovaOBrien: This woman is a woman I've admired from a distance for most of my adult life - Laila Harre on Annette Sykes http://t.co/PAl… about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @Sub_Strata: @DigitalMaori looks like @InternetMana landslide victory in the Most Fun Campaign category about a day ago