Indigenous | Air New Zealand

Air NZ's kapa haka rōpū, Six60 perform in Manhattan after airline's milestone flight

Image credit: Facebook / Air New Zealand.

Popular award-winning New Zealand band Six60 and Air New Zealand’s kapa haka rōpū have come together in celebration of the airline’s first non-stop return flights between Aotearoa and Te Āporo Nui.

Credit: Facebook / Air New Zealand

In a live stream on their respective Facebook pages, both rōpū performed to invited guests at an exclusive event at the Edge at Hudson Yards, an outdoor viewing platform of the bustling metropolis situated 101 stories above Manhattan. It is the highest of its type in the western hemisphere.

Beginning with a karanga and pūtātara sounding, the band kicked the performance off with their classic anthem Don't Forget Your Roots. They remixed halfway through with their reo Māori version of the song Kia Mau ki tō Ukaipō, to which the Air NZ rōpū came out with poi, rākau and also performed the haka Ka Mate.

Band members Matiu Walters (vocals, guitar), Eli Paewai (drums), Marlon Gerbes (synthesiser), Hoani Matenga (bass), Chris Mac (bass) and Ji Fraser (lead guitar) also performed new hits Never Been Tonight, and finished off with recently released tune Before You Leave. Both songs are from their upcoming album Castle St, due for release on October 7.

The performance is perfect timing for the chart-topping band as it is due to perform in the city tomorrow (Monday NYC time) at the Bowery Ballroom. It will continue their tour performing in North America, the United Kingdom and Europe before it play its rescheduled New Zealand tour at the end of October.

The first flight from Auckland International to John F. Kennedy International Airport lasted over 16 hours, landing at 8am Sunday NZ time. The return flight, which landed earlier today, was over 17 hours long.