8 Sep 2011

Chance for visitors to learn a haka

6:31 am on 8 September 2011

Visitors in Wellington during the Rugby World Cup will get a chance to learn and perform a haka.

The Ka Mate exhibition which opens at Te Papa on Thursday morning gives people the opportunity to learn about New Zealand's most famous and powerful haka where they will be able to interact hands on with Maori culture.

Events manager Mere Boynton says the exhibition fortunately coincides with the Rugby World Cup, giving tourists time to understand what the haka stands for.

She says people want to see the haka when Maori travel overseas.

Mrs Boynton says Te Papa wants to give visitors a deeper understanding of the haka, and be able to interact and perform one.

She says what people need to know is, that haka weren't just performed only by men and that women had their own styles and were just as fierce as them.

Mrs Boynton says it was only a fluke that Ngati Toa, the original custodians of Ka Mate, contacted Te Papa proposing a display around their ancestor Te Rauparaha's haka.

The Ka Mate exhibition is one of three Maori displays at the National Museum, the others being: Oceania, and the Tainui show Tai Timu Tai Pari.