Haka is a taonga that is steeped in whakapapa and has its origins in the creation of the universe, generating an abundance of meaning and value for Māori. On a national stage, haka is by far the most visible Indigenous ritual within the fabric of Aotearoa New Zealand’s national identity and continues to have a lasting legacy within the realm of sport. However, a major source of contention is the impact of globalisation on haka in sport, which has seen increasing issues of misuse, commodification, appropriation and tokenism.
Ko te tino kaupapa o te tuhinga nei hei whakaatu i ngā rautaki a te Maori mō ngā rākau taketake e kainga ana e te ngāngara. Kua whakaputaina mai ngā rautaki e rima nei; pūrākau, rāhui, karakia, tohu, me te mahitahi. I ahu mai ngā rautaki katoa i te mātauranga Māori. Ahakoa, he rerekē ētahi o ngā āhuatanga mō ia rautaki, kotahi noa te whakaakoranga ka puta i ngā rautaki katoa—ko te hononga o ngā mea katoa. Koirā te kitenga matua o te rangahau. Nā te mea, ko tātou ngā tāngata o te ao tūroa, ngā tamariki o te moana, o ngā roto, o ngā awa, o ngā ngahere hoki.
Mana and kaitiakitanga capture the relationships essential to Māori perceptions of wellbeing. These relationships reflect the interconnectedness and interdependence of humans with the people, places and things in their worlds, and the responsibilities associated with these relationships. Mana is critical for mokopuna, as is the requirement to action it, through kaitiakitanga (Marsden, 2003; Paul-Burke & Rameka, 2015). Kaitiakitanga recognises the place of humans, including mokopuna, to assume guardianship roles and responsibilities.
This paper advocates for change regarding commodification of Māori rituals in sport, arguing that haka are important taonga, symbolising Māori practices of knowledge transmission. Indigenous research methodologies based on Kaupapa Māori theory were utilised in this study. The literature reviewed highlights ongoing commodification of “Ka Mate” (a haka composed by Ngāti Toa chief Te Rauparaha) by transnational corporations in sport-related settings. A critique of promotional advertisements for sport events illustrates how recent legislation has had minimal impact.