Haka gets revamp in Māori fitness programme
By Cleo Fraser
Getting fit will no doubt be a New Year's resolution for many Kiwis after indulging over the festive break.
For those who aren't inspired by the treadmill, an Auckland couple have developed a unique fitness programme which uses haka movements to help shed extra kilos.
The haka is known for being fierce, strong, powerful - and now a fitness fad.
Ngarino Te Waati and his wife Kura have created an online training programme that uses haka movements to help people get fit.
"It's got a traditional background - you'll see many of the movements that are stemmed from the ancient days," he said.
Mr Te Waati has drawn on his experience as a personal trainer, professional rugby player and work developing a Māori theatre group to create the programme.
The daily online lessons run for 15 minutes and each is influenced by a Māori God.
"This is going to be unique in a way where people get to understand Māori mythology and our spiritual guidance by what we call 'Māori movement' - fitness of the gods," Mr Te Waati said.
An introduction video to the programme has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times in just a few days. Mr Te Waati says there's so must interest because the haka has captivated the world.
"I think the world has responded really, really well to the spirit and the respect of the haka."
Mr Te Waati says the programme helps with strength and weight loss, and also on a deeper level.
"It's about looking at first of all the creator and then you have the sky father and earth mother - and it's about respecting their resources and understanding how we can look after them and serve them," he said.
He is hopeful the concept will inspire people to want to try out some Māori moves in the new year.