'An incredible experience ... it shows how special NZ culture is' - groom humbled by popularity of Kiwi wedding haka

A Kiwi groom and bride are "humbled" by people across the globe reacting to a passionate and tearful haka which was filmed after their Hamilton wedding.

"It's been an incredible experience so far, it's really caught us out of the blue," Benjamin Armstrong told ONE News this afternoon.

Mr Armstrong was married and sealed to Aaliyah Hall last Friday at the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' Hamilton New Zealand Temple.

Following the ceremony, an "overwhelming" haka was performed and recorded by the couple's closest friends and family.

"All those guys, the people that are so close to your heart, and who you've shared so many experiences with. You can't help but feel overwhelmed," Mr Armstrong said.

The famous groom said the haka was so powerful it went on to move millions worldwide. Source: 1 NEWS

He said those of his faith often use a haka to show support and love during a momentous step in a person's life.

Mr Armstrong's best man helped organise the haka, while his older brother Joel led the emotional display next to younger brother Jarom, before their father also joined in.

After sharing footage of the haka on social media, the video quickly went viral.

"We've had a ridiculous amount of messages. People talking about how it made them cry, how it makes them want to become closer to their culture," Mr Armstong said.

He added he was "humbled" by how popular the video, filmed by the Hettig brothers of Westone Productions, had become worldwide.

"Some of the personal comments have come from people in Georgia, Portugal, all over the world ... I really think it shows how popular New Zealand culture is around the world and how special it is."



Teen driver charged with manslaughter over fatal Dunedin crash

A 19-year-old man has appeared in court on six charges including manslaughter after being arrested today over a crash in Dunedin last year that killed an 18-year-old woman passenger in the car he was driving.

Police allege the offending car, containing six people, was fleeing from a petrol drive-off committed at a BP Service Station on Cumberland Street minutes before the fatal crash on July 29. 

Police car Source: 1 NEWS

They say the offending car failed to give way at the intersection of Stafford and Hope Streets resulting in a T-bone crash with a second vehicle that was driving south on Stafford Street. 

An 18-year-old Invercargill woman passenger in the teen's car died at the scene and three other passengers received serious injuries.

Police say the three injured people are recovering but are still experiencing ongoing affects of their injuries.

The 19-year-old driver has been charged with manslaughter, failing to ascertain injury following a fatal crash, theft, and three counts of reckless driving causing injury.

He appeared in the Dunedin District Court and has been remanded on bail until his next appearance on February 9.

The driver and sole occupant of the second vehicle, a 55-year-old man, received minor injuries and has been cleared of any fault.

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Lomu's own family claim responsibility for disappearing grave decorations

It appears Jonah Lomu's own family may be responsible for the disappearance of decorations from his grave – not thieves.

ONE News understands both Nadene and the Lomu family visited the Manukau Memorial Gardens today where there was a disagreement between the parties about the decorations.

A Facebook post by the late rugby legend's widow Nadene Lomu today claimed decorations left at the grave by Jonah's two sons Brayley and Dhyreille had been repeatedly removed.

"It saddens me that our sons' things they choose for you keep being taken off and taken away from your place of rest," she wrote.

"A child's love is innocent and pure, I know you wouldn't be happy they are being hurt, not just once, not just twice, not even three or four times but more.

Symbolic of love and peace, the doves were released from the field of Eden Park. Source: 1 NEWS

"How upsetting it is seeing their gifts of love for you keep being removed since you departed this earth."

To my sister in law I know you would be upset that we took down your decorations - Sela Lomu

However on Wednesday Jonah's sister Sela had posted a message to her own Facebook page, in which she addresses Nadene Lomu directly - claiming the decorations were removed so that soil could be added to the top of the grave.

"To my sister in law I know you would be upset that we took down your decorations on Sunday and that I had rearranged it prior to that… we had approached the cemetery people to top up our brother's grave as you would have seen it sinking below ground level…"

She goes on to say they had to be removed by Tuesday for the ground crew to do its job.

Auckland Council has confirmed it did not move any items on the grave, but Sela Lomu has also put up photographs showing a man tending to the site, and what appears to be a new layer of soil on top Jonah's grave.

NZ Rugby Players Association boss Rob Nichol says Jonah Lomu’s health played a part in his financial troubles.
Source: 1 NEWS

Sela Lomu says she was forced to put up a post about the decorations being moved, after Nadene "kindly unfriended the family from both you and our brother's page."

Decorations left by Lomu’s sons have been taken from his grave. Source: 1 NEWS


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