Ngāti Toa orders anti-vaxxers to stop performing Ka Mate haka after hearing Brian Tamaki is planning to teach it before protests

Ngāti Toa has condemned the use of its Ka Mate haka by Kiwis opposed to the COVID-19 vaccine and jab mandates, ordering those performing it for this purpose to cease immediately.

The haka - best-known as the one performed by the All Blacks, who have special permission to use it before matches - has been performed across the country in recent weeks, as protests against the Government's coronavirus response have ramped up.

But the iwi says those performing it at these protests must stop and find another haka to perform.

The iwi says it was issuing the call after growing concerned about the use of the haka and being told Brian Tamaki - the leader of Destiny Church and founder of the Freedom and Rights Coalition - planned to teach it to protesters before future demonstrations.

In a statement, Ngāti Toa said it condemns the use of the Ka Mate haka to push and promote anti-COVID-19-vaccination messages.

"As the descendendants of Te Rauparaha, we insist that protestors stop using our taonga immediately. We do not support their position and we do not want our tupuna (ancestors) or our iwi associated with their messages," says Pou Tikanga, Dr Taku Parai.

This call comes from witnessing the use of the haka, Ka Mate at recent anti-vaccination protests and also being alerted by members of the public to suggestions Tamaki is planning to teach Ka Mate to attendees of future anti-vaccination mandate protests. 

Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira chief executive Helmut Modlik says Ngati Toa has been proactive in trying to protect its people from the threat of COVID-19, with its Ora Toa Health Services being a major provider of vaccinations across the rohe.

"Our message to protestors who wish to use Ka Mate is to use a different haka. We do not endorse the use of Ka Mate for this purpose.

"Many of our tupuna lost their lives in previous pandemics and our iwi suffered greatly. We are absolutely clear that the COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection we have available to us, and we are committed to supporting our whānau to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

"Protests are promoting the views of individuals ahead of the needs of collective whānau. In our view, this is not rangatiratanga and we are confident that our tupuna would agree with our stance."

It's not the first time the embrace of Māori elements at COVID-19 protests have drawn the ire of local iwi.

Earlier this month, 'freedom' protesters were confronted after trying to overthrow Northland iwi checkpoints while flying the He Whakaputanga (United Tribes) flag upside-down.

Te Tai Tokerau Border Control communications and logistics manager Nyze Manuel (Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa) told Newshub another He Whakaputanga flag was worn around someone's backside.

She said it was something they really took issue with.

"I'm not being racist or anything because I have Pākehā blood in me, but when there's 10 Māori and 50 other Pākehā holding our kara (flag) upside-down, from the place of the birth of He Whakaputanga, I think they really, really, really need to check themselves.

"Who wears a kara around their backside? It's an insult, it's disrespectful. And then we get one coming out flying the flag upside-down like we're in distress? You're not. 

"How rude is that? Unbelievable.

"My message is very clear to them: if we want your help, we'll ask. We're fine, thank you. Nga ko hi te kainga (go home)."