National | Haka

Wairarapa students break Guinness haka world record

Wairarapa has added their name to the Guinness World Records after breaking the longest mass performed haka after hitting six minutes. The principal of Masterton Intermediate came up with the idea to inspire youth to take pride in themselves and their community.

Wairarapa roars through Masterton Park with a mass group of students from 35 local schools breaking the silence and a Guinness World Record for the longest and largest haka ever performed.

Whakaoriori Principal Russel Thompson says, “Last year in November, our staff had a discussion about how the Guinness World Record for a mass haka was held by France. This didn't sit well with us, so we sold our idea to other schools to come here and break the record.”

And they certainly exceeded that, trumping the previous record of 4,028 people to almost 10,000 and extending the haka duration by another minute. The outcome beyond expectation.

Haka Composer Paora Ammunson says, “I am humbled that other schools and teachers have jumped on board to come together and support this initiative. The main objective is to bring together all the children in the Wairarapa community. To haka together, stand together, have fun together and be proud of what they have accomplished on in our beautiful community of Wairarapa.”

Masterton Intermediate School principal Russell Thompson said the school and the community wanted to underline the area's strength and self-belief and to create news about Wairarapa that is positive and memorable.

“Standing together in unity, all the schools, students, teachers and family members in this establishment performing our haka, for me, is the most important part. It embodies our school proverb "To stand together in unity," says Thompson.

Te Wairarapa rose up to the challenge, inspiring young and old to be proud of their community.

Roy Rimene-Clark told te Kāea, “It was amazing, our haka was awesome and we beat France.”

Officials expect to have an exact number of performers by the end of the week.