Sport | Te Matatini

Te Matatini gifts a trilingual waiata to New Zealand Rugby

The waiata will be performed for the first time before the Bledisloe Cup match in Dunedin today

Te Matatini will gift the song ‘Kia Kino Nei Hoki’ to NZ Rugby to signify the continuation of the legacy that brings together haka and rugby.

When the All Blacks face off against Australia in their Bledisloe Cup clash on Saturday they will be armed with a waiata which is a celebration of haka, music and language.

The waiata will be performed live in te reo Māori, English and French for the first time at a sold out Forsyth Barr stadium in Dunedin.

It will be performed by two of Aotearoa’s best Māori music artists and haka exponents Rob Ruha and Ria Hall, featuring three-time and current Te Matatini champions Te Kapa Haka o Te Whānau a Apanui.

Te Matatini chairperson Sir Selwyn Parata said the waiata would help normalise the use of te reo Māori.

“The power of waiata is its ability to transcend barriers and languages to evoke ihi, te wehi me te wana. Kia Kino Nei Hoki is a unifying force to rally our nation and fans worldwide to get behind our team.”

Ruha said the waiata showed the similarities between competitive sport and competitive kapa haka, creating a connection between stadium and stage.

“The spirit of the song is charged with the excitement and adrenaline that kaihaka feel on the side of stage before we go out to perform. No doubt that spirit will be similar to when our team is in the changing room before they hit the rugby field.”

Ruha said in the waiata they were trying to capture the feeling of what it might be like to be a professional in the moments just before the game starts, the tension, the pressure, the game plan and the adrenaline.

The songs will be officially released on Friday 11 August to celebrate Māori music month.