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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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Peter Obi condoles with late actor Junior Pope’s family

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in the last election, Peter Obi, has paid a condolence visit to the family of the late Nollywood actor, Junior Pope.

The former Anambra State governor also signed the condolence register.

Nollywood actor and former spokesperson of the Labour Party presidential campaign council, Kenneth Okonkwo, shared pictures and videos from the visit on his Instagram page ON Saturday afternoon.

He captioned the pictures and videos: ” HE Peter Obi arrived at the residence of John Paul Odonwodo Junior Pope, to pay his condolences to his family over the sad, and untimely departure of their child, brother, husband and father. He consoled his mother, Mrs Maria Odonwodo, the widow, Jennifer, and his children.”

DAILY POST recalls that Junior Pope died on April 10, 2024, alongside three others after their boat capsized on the Anam River in Anambra State while returning from a film location.

He was laid to rest at his hometown, Ukehe in Nsukka Local Government Area, Enugu State, on Friday

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I am not ready to have kids- Burna boy

Grammy-winning Nigerian singer, Damini Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy, has opened up about why he is not ready to be a father yet.

The ‘City Boys’ crooner said he is not ready to have kids yet because he can’t give them the attention they deserve.

The entertainer stated this while responding to a question raised by a fan during a recent Instagram live session with his fans.

He explained that he would have children when he was settled or married.

“Why haven’t I had kids yet? Bro, because I don’t want to have kids yet,” Burna boy said.

“Have you seen my mum the way she loves me? Have you seen my dad the way he loves me?I know I can’t give that to anyone right now with the life I’m living. So until I’m settled and I can be there for my children everyday, I’m not having no kid.

I feel like my kids deserved better than I got. And I got both my mum and dad so you understand?”

On the allegations that he is impotent, Burna Boy said, “When I see the bants and the things people say [about me not being able to have kids], I said this is unimportant. Let’s assume that it is true that I couldn’t even have kids, you know that there’s something called IVF? But that is not even true.”

Burna Boy started to gain fame after releasing ‘Like to Party’, the lead single from his debut album ‘L.I.F.E’ (2013).

In 2021, the singer set a record in Nigeria after his fifth album ‘Twice As Tall (2020)’ won the ‘Best World Music Album’ category at the Grammys.

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Cause of Mohbad’s death cannot be ascertained’ – Pathologist

The pathologist, who conducted an autopsy on the body of late singer, Ilerioluwa Aloba, AKA Mohbad, has said that the cause of death couldn’t be ascertained.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Wahab Shittu, told newsmen in Lagos State on Wednesday that the pathologist in charge told the coroner that the deceased’s body had decomposed by the time the test was conducted.

Shittu said, “According to him (pathologist), the cause of death cannot be determined because, by the time they conducted the test, the body had decomposed and that it is not possible for them to determine the cause of death

“So, in summary, he is saying the cause of death cannot be ascertained. When you say the cause of death cannot be ascertained, it means it is suspicious, it is not clear. No particular reason.”

Shittu added that the pathologist said Mohbad may have died due to a reaction to certain drugs administered to him before he died.

“He also went further to say that it may be attributed to reaction to certain drugs administered on him before he died. Again, he then qualified that to say he does not know whether it is those drugs that actually led to his death,” he said.

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