May 16, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

TO haka — or not to haka?

2 min read

Such is the dilemma facing fans of Australian Idol’s Gold Coast contender Stan Walker, 19, of Coolangatta.

The debate launched on Stan’s Facebook fan club with this post: “I have just heard that whanau and friends are organising a huge haka for Stan at the Opera House. And that 3000 people will be there to tautoko. How cool is that going to be?”

Others were less sure: “Yeah, slap the Aussies in the face with a New Zealand haka! … bad move.”

Stan’s dad Ross says plans for a mass haka came as news to him, but chuckled at the thought: “I suppose Stan’s friends and supporters want to say thank you Stan, we’re here to support you; but he’s got Aussie friends too.”

Stan was born in Australia, brought up in New Zealand and attended high school at Byron Bay before he moved to the Gold Coast.

Ross had no plans to do the haka. Did he want to see Stan’s friends and supporters have a go?

“I’m not fussed either way.” he said. “I’m focused on Stan. He’s had a lot on his plate. We get a lot of calls. I try to get in the middle, talk to his friends, say ‘hang back, don’t hassle Stan, especially this last week of the competition when he has still a lot do. Let him get through Sunday night. Then he’s yours.”

Whanau in Australia have suggested that a haka of this kind (large) might undermine Stan’s chances of winning by putting “ordinary” Australians off. “Australians expect you to “BE” Australian when you move here” said Deb Rangi who has lived in Burleigh Beach for 11 years. “Sadly, there is not a lot of room for expressing one’s culture here”

What are your thoughts e hoa ma?

Vote Stan: SMS Stan to 191 010; phone 1902 555 561

4 thoughts on “TO haka — or not to haka?

  1. Organised? i dunno about organised but WE did the haka alright and it was mean! I have to say being here and knowing our background is a priviledge and a gift, Ozzies came up afterwards wishing they knew the haka

  2. kia-ora acruss the dutch!:-)
    as an aussie who likes a lot of kiwi singers(sharon o’neill etc),hope your man stan gets the nod!The haka would be awesome especially when he wins.This young guy has golden tonsils and deserves to win!Go stan,you the man bro!:-)

    Hope all the ex-pat kiwis living here have voted for him!

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