3 Sep 2012

Ngati Toa side-step ruling on haka

6:34 am on 3 September 2012

Ngati Toa has side-stepped an Intellectual Property Office ruling, which rejected the tribe's attempt to safeguard the haka, Ka Mate Ka Mate.

The lower North Island iwi initialled a Deed of Settlement with the Crown on Sunday.

The deed says the Government will introduce unique legislation recognising the tribe's chief, Te Rauparaha, as the composer of the haka.

Te Runanga o Ngati Toa chairperson Taku Parai says the iwi wasn't going to stop even after its bid to the Intellectual Property Office to protect phrases of Ka Mate was rejected.

He says a good strategist always has a plan B, which was for the tribe's treaty negotiators to work with the Government and put forward their case as kaitiaki of the haka.

Mr Parai says the negotiators expressed their thoughts and told parliamentarians that the haka is a gift to the nation, and the tribe has no concerns about the haka being used by the public.

He says the special legislation will achieve a primary goal held by the iwi, which is to protect the haka from being misused commercially.