Maori tribe to anti-vaxxers: Stop using the 'Ka Mate' haka

A Maori tribe in New Zealand is calling for anti-vaxxers to stop performing the "Ka Mate" haka to push their message, Agence-France Press reports.

Groups opposed to the COVID-19 vaccine have reportedly been using the traditional performance at vaccine protest events.

Ngati Toa, a native tribe based by the country's capital city of Wellington, are the custodians of the "Ka Mate" haka under New Zealand law. The "Ka Mate" haka, arguably the most well-known of the various rituals, is performed by the New Zealand-based All Blacks rugby team before each match.

ADVERTISEMENT

In a statement, the Ngati Toa slammed the use of the traditional performance for political purposes.

"We do not support their position and we do not want our tupuna or our iwi associated with their messages," the tribe said in a statement, referencing their ancestry or "tupuna," according to CNN.
 
They added, "Our message to protesters who wish to use Ka Mate is to use a different haka. We do not endorse the use of Ka Mate for this purpose."
 
Protests against COVID-19 restrictions and vaccines have been ramping up around New Zealand lately, with nearly 3,000 people hitting the streets in Wellington last Tuesday in opposition.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reportedly spoke out against the demonstrations, during which a woman bit a police officer, saying the protestors represent only a small portion of the population's views.

"What we saw today was not representative of the vast bulk of New Zealanders," she said.