A Tauranga-based kiwifruit company says teaching the haka to Japanese delegates at a trade conference in Tokyo was an icebreaker.
As part of the opening ceremony for the conference, run by the kiwifruit marketer Zespri, 55 New Zealanders performed the haka.
Te Awanui Huka Pak chief executive Hemi Rolleston says it's the first time Maori culture has been on display to open the conference.
He says a large number of Japanese delegates were also invited onto the stage and taught the haka.
Mr Rolleston says it was a unique combination of culture and business.
He says the cultural performance really changed the dynamic of the conference and he's still receiving positive feedback about it more than a week after coming home.