Sunday, March 3, 2013

What a daft idea

Owen Glenn has some good ideas, but he also has some daft ones. Lending money to Winston Peters was always going to end in tears, and it did. 

But his latest suggestion is the most daft one of the lot; Stuff reports:

Warriors co-owner Sir Owen Glenn wants his team to perform a haka before each National Rugby League match.
The multimillionaire philanthropist believes the Auckland club needs to express New Zealand culture.
Sir Owen is creating a haka for the upcoming season that starts this week.
"We are New Zealanders and we're going to bring back a haka for the team and a chant, and we're working on that now with Donna Grant and her husband, Anaru," Sir Owen said.
"This [the Warriors] is a Kiwi brand, let's be proud of it. If we don't win the game, which we will, then let's win the war chant."
Grant, the daughter of late entertainer Sir Howard Morrison, last May became the first woman to be appointed to the Warriors board.
She is executive director of Rotorua's Manaakitanga Aotearoa Charitable Trust, head of performing arts at Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, and serves on boards including the Glenn Family Foundation, Te Matatini National Kapa Haka and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority Nga Kaituhono Advisory Board.
Sir Owen wants the Warriors to perform the pre-match haka in the same way as the All Blacks. "It is very likely, that's one thing I'd like to have my say on. We are Kiwis, let's be proud of that." 

There are plenty of reasons why this is a daft idea. For a start, the Warriors team is a club side, playing in an Australian club competition, rather than a national team. Next thing; you could probably count the number of Maori in the team on the fingers of one hand. The Warriors comprise primarily Australians and Polynesians, with a few Maori and a few Pakeha. Maori is not the team's dominant culture.

Does Owen Glenn REALLY think that Australians in particular are going to buy in to the haka, when it represents a culture completely alien to them? A real haka carries much mana; a contrived one, performed without any appreciation of Maori culture is anything but mana-enhancing.

Lastly, the NRL won't go for it, nor should they. No other club in the NRL has the opportunity to perform a cultural ritual before games, so why should the Warriors get special treatment.

Owen Glenn hasn't thought this through. We'd far rather that Mr Glenn channel his talents into making the Warriors the best team that they can be right from the first game of the 2013 season so that the trauma of 2012 can quickly be erased. Results on the field will be what counts this year, not a half-baked sideshow before the matches.

1 comment:

Mykuhl said...

I actually like the idea. Most school league teams in New Zealand are predominantly Polynesian, and yet most of them perform a haka before major games.

The idea that the Australians wouldn't want to be involved also falls down when you look at grass-roots rugby. School teams like Wanganui Collegiate and Wesley College have a history of overseas players being part of their squads, and yet they all take part in the haka.

The NRL may only allow it at home games, or as a celebration of a win, like most of the Australian teams have with their team song.

For me the haka is something that has the power to transcend the Maori-Pakeha divide. As a Pakeha I identify with the haka of the All Blacks and the Kiwis. Why shouldn't I be able to identify with one done by the Warriors.