© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

Disrespectful haka by UK nurses

Tia McDougall
Haka
UK Nurses performing Haka  Twitter / Maori Tv Twitter

A modified haka performed by nurses at a hospital in the United Kingdom has been deemed a form of cultural appropriation.

The video was posted on Twitter by Tavistock Hospital workers in Devon, who wore white head bands and black paint for their performance of a modified version of Ka Mate. In the video the nurses chant some Maori words and their own lyrics.

"This is the message we wish to affirm, you'll never beat us we hate you, you germ."

The hospital told the BBC the haka was a moment of "wonderful bonding.”

This performance of the haka is considered offensive to the Māori culture and disrespectful to the descendants of Ngāti Toa who created the Ka Mate haka.

One Facebook user commented on a shared post of the video, saying "these nurses are so ignorant, if they wanted to do a haka at least learn about it, women pukana with their eyes not tongues."

Another said: "it's the face paint and bandanas, culturally appropriating our traditional war dress is disgusting."

The video has since been removed from Facebook and Twitter after the amount of negative backlash the post received. 

The Twitter user who posted the video said on Facebook: “I am absolutely devastated that we may have offended anybody at all, especially as our intentions were truly innocent."