Monday, 23 July 2007
Gingerbread haka in hot water
A team of Gingerbread men, who were filmed performing their version of the haka, have been widely condemned across New Zealand.
A Maori spokesman and expert in kapa haka confirmed that he thought the Gingerbread men's haka was, on the face of it, an affront to Maori culture.
"The Gingerbread men have sacred kitchen rituals but we Maori wouldn't go out and intentionally denigrate their culture - this tramples ours."
A furious right Reverend Graham Henry, speaking to anyone who would listen, said:
"Speaking on behalf of the whole of New Zealand, the Maori culture, and the world of rugby, I am shocked and appalled at the Gingerbread men's blatant lack of respect."
Gerald Gingerbread, media liaison officer for the Gingerbread men's team, said that he was surprised that his team's haka had provoked such an adverse reaction, especially after having removed the provocative 'slit-throat' gesture from the haka's finale.
"We tried to make our haka as authentic as possible and certainly don't mean to cause offence" he said.
Moreover it transpires that the Gingerbread players themselves were upset by the insistence of the Toast Soldiers team that the Toast Anthem would be played after the Gingerbread men's haka at last Saturday's test match, so much so that the Gingerbread men elected to perform the haka indoors.
In a prepared statement, Gingerbread captain Richie McGingerbread said: "The tradition needs to be honoured properly if we're going to do it. If the other team wants to mess around, we'll just do the haka in the kitchen.
"At the end of the day, the Gingerbread haka is about culinary preparation and we do it for ourselves. Traditionally fans can taste the experience too and it's sad that they couldn't do it on Saturday."