Patrick Gower: Haka for Te Toiroa shows why Te Reo is so special

OPINION: The haka performed for new All Black 'Triple T' Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi by his whānau on Saturday night was nothing short of spectacular. 

Emotional doesn't even begin to describe it.  

There was such a unique power to it that watching it brought tears to my eyes and made me incredibly proud to be a New Zealander. Representing your country is a great achievement but what a way to have it celebrated with a haka from the men and women who love you. 

Tahuriorangi's father, father-in-law and partner performed the haka for him in the stands after the Nelson game after travelling down from Rotorua.

As Tahuriorangi said: "To get that kind of haka just personifies where I come from, a little area where not much people make it out. I'm carrying all my whānau  from back home."  

The haka showed love, passion and pride. And as Tahuriorangi said, there was also a bigger message, about making it good for the people back home, about remembering where you come from.

It showed the haka is so much more than a "war dance" - as some Pakeha lazily claim.

This haka showed uniquely powerful celebration of love and pride in our own indigenous language. 

As we head into Māori Language Week with the inevitable debate about what it means to us, this haka really stood out to me.

There is a beautiful power to Te Reo - we should treasure it.

Patrick Gower is Newshub national correspondent.

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