Haka on the frontline! Lone Kiwi man's stirring haka against Dakota Access Pipeline gets rapturous applause

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A lone Maori man, on the protest frontline at Standing Rock in North Dakota, has emerged on social media after performing a powerful haka against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Kiwi raised the protesters' spirits at the weekend when he performed the Ngati Kahungunu tribal haka Tika Tonu to those on the frontline.

He received a rapturous applause for his effort.

Native American citizens and environmentalists at Sioux Tribe's land have recently stood up to Tasers, pepper spray and rubber bullets, protesting against the underground proposed pipeline.

The pipeline project, which is proposed to run across four US states, is expected to cost $US3.8 billion and the Sioux Tribe says it threatens local water supplies and sacred sites.

The proposed Dakota Access Pipeline would transport crude oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa and into Illinois.

An estimated 7.4 billion barrels of undiscovered oil is believed to be in the US portion of the Bakken Formation, according to the US Geological Survey.

The Sioux Tribe has been protesting since April but last week things escalated when police descended on the Northern camp blockade.

About 140 people were arrested - footage of the confrontation showed police in tanks with rifles and using pepper spray and mace on protesters.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed a complaint in federal court alleging that "the construction and operation of the pipeline... threatens the tribe's environmental and economic well-being".

The tribe said it would also damage and destroy sites of great historic, religious, and cultural significance to the tribe.

There are also concerns that digging the pipeline under the Missouri River would affect the tribe's drinking water supply.

The tribe, represented by Earthjustice (a not-profit environmental law firm) has asked for an injunction.

Meanwhile, back here in New Zealand, Kiwis have flocked to a Facebook support page called Haka with Standing Rock.

Maori Television personality Te Hamua Nikora set up the page to post messages and haka in support of protesters in North Dakota.

The idea to compose a haka for those in Standing Rock was inspired by a post from a Native American activist at Standing Rock calling for Māori to support them.


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