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‘National treasure’: New Zealand Māori haka protected in trade deal with UK

New Zealand

‘National treasure’: New Zealand Māori haka protected in trade deal with UK

It may not be enough to prevent the dance being butchered by dance troupes, in TikToks or at pub crawls, but a historic new UK-New Zealand free trade deal includes commitments from the UK to protect New Zealand’s iconic haka, Ka Mate.

The deal is expected to boost New Zealand’s GDP by $970m, and eventually lift tariffs on all its exports to the UK. But its provisions extend beyond the economic: unusually, it also notes “a commitment by the UK to cooperate with New Zealand to identify appropriate ways to advance recognition and protection of the haka Ka Mate … [and] acknowledge Ngāti Toa Rangatira’s [the leaders of Ngāti Toa tribe’s] guardianship of the haka”.

The Ka Mate haka, a traditional Māori war dance that is performed internationally by some of New Zealand’s top sports teams, has been subject to controversial appropriation in the UK. Last year, a group of UK nurses apologised after performing an altered haka in facepaint, which cultural adviser Karaitiana Taiuru said at that time was “blatant cultural abuse that is verging on being racist”.

While a free trade deal is unlikely to prevent those incidents entirely, it may go some way to protect the haka from being used in commercial settings by those other than its traditional Indigenous guardians.

“Ka Mate is one of the most appropriated, commercially ripped off icons of New Zealand and Te Ao Māori [so] it’s important and logical that it’s in there,” Taiuru said. “And at events in London we see drunk Kiwis down the street doing the haka, just disrespecting Ngāti Toa, Te Rauparaha, the whole haka … I hope that this was a good step forward for recognition of Indigenous rights.”

Māori party co-leader Rawiri Waititi welcomed the protections. “We must be looking at cultural appropriation – not misappropriation, treating it with a lot more respect and I’m glad that a lot more people are,” he said, according to the New Zealand Herald.

“You’ve got to understand the concept of haka, and what it’s about,” Waititi said.

“It’s not a commodity to be used in that sort of space, it’s a taonga [treasure] that’s been gifted to the All Blacks by Ngati Toa and Aotearoa and we’re really proud of it.”

Ngāti Toa’s guardianship of Ka Mate has been written into New Zealand law since 2014, and the haka has been formally recognised as a taonga, or treasure, belonging to the iwi, or tribe. Ngāti Toa iwi leader Kahu Ropata has previously told Te Ao Māori, “It is recognised as a national treasure … “Our iwi signed the Ka Mate Ka Mate attribution bill through our settlement to recognise our rightful role as sole guardians of the haka. For whoever uses it should acknowledge its origins.”

Announcing the deal, British prime minister Boris Johnson said: “We already share deep ties of history, culture and values, and I look forward to the next chapter in our friendship.”

Competitive against China
The new free trade deal is one of only a handful that the UK has created from scratch in the post-Brexit era – and one Britain hopes will also chip away at New Zealand’s trade dependency on China.

The focus on the region is part of prime minister Boris Johnson’s 10-year plan to tilt the UK’s foreign policy focus towards the Indo-Pacific, strengthening the alliance and position of democratic countries in the region to make them more competitive against China.

More than 30% of New Zealand exports go to China, its largest trading partner. The country has come under fire in the past for adopting slightly gentler rhetoric on China than some of its allies – a stance critics claim is as a result of trade vulnerability.

New Zealand foreign minister Nanaia Mahuta has previously urged exporters to diversify and reduce their vulnerability to geopolitical shocks like the trade war Australia is experiencing.

Announcing the deal on Thursday, prime minister Jacinda Ardern said that Covid-19 had taught the country that “we must have as many options for our world-class products to ensure certainty for our primary producers, our economy and our people”.

Under the deal, the UK would eventually eliminate all tariffs on New Zealand exports. The most immediate winners will be New Zealand’s honey exporters – currently paying a 16% tariff – and its winemakers, which pay $50 per 100 litres.

“It’s obviously good news,” said John Rawcliffe of the Unique Mānuka Factor Honey Association. “The removal of the of those tariffs which are somewhat of a barrier is very helpful for particularly the manuka [honey] industry in New Zealand.

“The signals and the recognition of culture and Indigenous rights also are quite significant for this industry … [it’s] starting to support the work around the protection of the term manuka honey, and the need to recognise those rights.”

Some duties and quotas will remain, however, on about 35% of exports – including tariff-free quotas for some beef, lamb and dairy exports in the next five-15 years. The New Zealand government estimated that tariff elimination would save local exporters about $37.8m a year. Officials said expanded access to UK markets would result in a boost of almost $1bn to New Zealand GDP – about 0.3% of New Zealand’s GDP. The impact on UK GDP is likely to be negligible – more in the realm of 0.01%, or possibly nothing.

Independently of the trade deal, prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the two countries were working on extending and improving the New Zealand-UK working holiday scheme.

“For many young New Zealanders an overseas experience has become a rite of passage, providing a pathway to develop their skills and work experience while travelling and living in the United Kingdom,” Ardern said.

Work on extending the program would begin immediately.

“It is fantastic that we will now work to build on what has been a long tradition between our two countries. We look forward to receiving those from the United Kingdom and providing them the same opportunities on our side of the world,” she said.

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Abiodun Eulogises Alaba Lawson, Vows to Uphold Legacy

L-R: Children of the deceased, Babalola and Akinola Lawson; Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun; Evangelist Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi and another son, Dr Olaoluwa Lawson during the final burial service of the Iyalode of Yorubaland, Chief (Mrs) Alaba Lawson in Abeokuta, on Friday.

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Friday said that the late Iyalode of Yoruba land, Chief Mrs. Alaba Lawson left a legacy that would be a reference and an inspiration to generations yet unborn.
Abiodun stated this at the funeral and outing service held at the African Church, Cathedral of St. James, Idi-Ape, Ago-Oko, Abeokuta, even as he noted that the late educationist life and times are inspiring narrative of great accomplishments.
According to the governor, as the first female president of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), former Chairman, Board of Governing Council, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Fellow and Council Member, Institute of Directors, Chairman Board of Trustees, Nigerian Quality Infrastructure Forum, among others, the deceased dedicated her life to serving the nation, Ogun State and the society at large.
He added that her accomplishments are extraordinary and challenging to replicate.
The governor said: “Chief Alaba Lawson was a woman of remarkable achievements, leaving indelible marks and lasting impact, not just in our dear State, but throughout the entire country. A great philanthropist who garnered numerous accolades throughout her life time and her contributions to the society were immense.
“The Lawson family of Abeokuta has lost a true gem, and the Association of Academics in Nigeria mourns the loss of a distinguished member with exceptional intelligence. Her eventful life will continue to inspire many especially the younger generation.”
He described the late Alaba Lawson as the cultural ambassador who held on to her root by promoting the cultural values and the Adire fabrics wherever she went, adding that as an advocate of women rights, she was fearless and tireless and was always ready to sacrifice for the benefit of the society.
Mrs. Lawson, the governor emphasized, was a loving mother to her children and those of others, saying she lived an impactful life, and was a strong supporter of the present administration, assuring that his administration would do the needful to sustain her legacy.
“We as government, we will do the needful in sustaining your legacy. Let me assure you that we will continue to ensure that we sustain the legacy of our own dear Iyalode Oluwaseun Alaba Lawson,” Prince Abiodun said.
In his sermon, the Primate, African Church, His Eminence Julius Olayinka Abbe, said the late Alaba Lawson lived an impactful life as she was kind and generous to the people, the church and the society.
Iyalode Lawson, according to the Primate, was a defender to the defenceless, a reliable and worthy mother who was not only interested in the welfare of her biological children, but to anyone who crossed her path during her life time.
Taking his text from the Book of Matthew 5 verse 8, the Cleric decried the attitude of some wealthy individuals who care less about the well-being of others, noting that late Alaba Lawson, apart from being a well known educationist, an industrialist with wide network of connections, was a beacon of hope.
He added that her death has created a big vaccum that would be difficult to fill.
He called on the wealthy and those in authority, to work towards alleviating the sufferings in the land brought about by the removal of subsidy on petroleum products, saying many people are struggling to survive due to the hardship.
The service had in attendance the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and his wife, Chief (Mrs) Bola Obasanjo; former Governor of the state, Ibikunle Amosun his wife, Olufunso; the wife of the Ogun State Governor, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun, amongst others.

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I Am A Superstar With Over 30 Mansions- Singer, Portable Brags

Headies Disqualify Portable Over ‘Reckless’ Statements

Controversial singer, Habeeb Okikiola, popularly known as Portable, has bragged about his wealth, saying he is a low-key millionaire and owns about 30 mansions scattered across Lagos and Ogun states.

The ‘Zazu’ crooner also said he engages in a lot of philanthropic works because the more he gives to the poor, the richer he gets.

Portable, who spoke in the latest episode of the Afrobeats Podcast hosted by Adesope Olajide, said the music industry is very lucrative. He likened “music money” to money ritual.

He said, “I’m a superstar, man of the people. People come to me for aid and I have to give them because the more I give them, the more I blow.

“I have a lot of money. The amount of money I spray… I’m not normal but I get 30 mansions. I have houses in Abule-Egba, Ikeja, Sango-Otta, and Abeokuta. I just bought the houses down because of tomorrow. Nobody knows that I’m the owner of those houses.”

He said he is richer than most of his colleagues who he met in the industry, claiming that most of them flaunt “fake lifestyles” on social media

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U.S state of Georgia General Assembly honours Davido as ”Outstanding Georgia Citizen”

Nigerian singer, Davido on Friday Dec 1 was honoured as an Outstanding Georgia Citizen, at the Georgia General Assembly.

Davido shared a video of the lawmakers giving him a standing ovation when it was announced that he was present.

‘’This morning I attended the U.S. State of Georgia General Assembly meeting with the Georgia House of Representatives and Georgia state senate to be recognized as an ‘Outstanding Georgia Citizen’ … God is good.”

The letter of Davido’s proclamation as “Outstanding Georgia Citizen” was signed by Brad Raffensperger, Secretary of State of the State of Georgia.

Davido is a citizen of the State of Georgia by birth. He was born to Nigerian parents in Atlanta, the state capital.


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