All Blacks' haka has 'lost its mana', NZ legends claim

A number of past All Blacks have come out strongly in opposition to the continued commercial exploitation of the haka, calling for the pre-match ritual to be performed less.

Having been performed by the All Blacks for nearly the entirety of New Zealand's existence as a rugby superpower, criticism has always followed the haka, with many - usually overseas based - commentators claiming it as an unfair advantage.

In a new book from British journalist Peter Bills titled 'The Jersey', several All Blacks legends raised their own questions as to the haka's ongoing existence, and in some cases exploitation.

"It has lost its mana. It has become a showpiece. They should do it at certain test matches but not all," said former prop Kees Meeuws.

"It was good a few years ago when they had a choice. But now they play 14 test matches a year and that's too much as far as the haka is concerned. We should either have it at home or just away from home, like it used to be. Not both."

Meanwhile, Andrew Mehrtens labelled it as "too commercialised."

The late Sir Colin Meads, arguably the greatest ever All Black, slammed the overuse of the haka, saying it diluted the traditional Maori importance as a war dance.

"They haka everything now. Some dignitary or sports person turns up or a film star at the airport and they haka them. It is ridiculous. I think it has become a celebrity thing. All the schools practise it.

"It should be done before games but as a form of respect to the Maori. We were haka‑ed out there for a while and still are."

Peter Bills' 'The Journey' will be released on August 14.

The All Blacks perform the Haka.
New Zealand All Blacks v South Africa. Test match rugby union. The Rugby Championship. Christchurch, New Zealand. Saturday 17 September 2016. © Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz
The All Blacks perform the haka against the Springboks. Source: Photosport


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Dan and Honor Carter announce they're expecting their third child
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'You lose mana when you do things like that' - Aaron Smith says toilet tryst cost him role leading the All Blacks' haka

All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith believes his 2016 toilet tryst in Christchurch cost him the honour of leading New Zealand's pre-match haka, saying the incident cost him mana within the side.

Smith, 29, was exposed during the 2016 Rugby Championship as being involved in the act in a disabled toilet in Christchurch and was sent home from South Africa as a result.

In a new book titled 'The Jersey' by British journalist Peter Bills, Smith spoke openly about the incident, saying it cost him his role as the leader of the All Blacks' haka, with TJ Perenara assuming duties in his absence.

The talented number nine was in no mood to talk as he touched down on home soil after the long trip from Africa. Source: 1 NEWS

"I was one of the first to say, 'I should not be doing it', and that is what happened," Smith says.

"It's a part of the mana, isn't it? You lose mana when you do things like that. TJ Perenara took over and I was happy for him to do that because of the mana I had lost from what I had done."

All Blacks mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka concurred with Smith, adding:

Aaron Smith will arrive in NZ early Saturday morning to deal with the fallout from his actions. Source: 1 NEWS

"What Aaron did was so severe for himself personally that it shattered him hugely."

"He needs to think why he screwed up. It was like a tide that crept up. You think you are indestructible and above different things. But suddenly you come crashing down in a huge way."

The All Black halfback has been given a formal warning for lying to NZ Rugby about the incident. Source: 1 NEWS


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