Hurricanes to apologise over Poua women's team's 'redneck Government' haka

The chief executive said he received no consultation from players over the altered haka.
The chief executive said he received no consultation from players over the altered haka. Photo credit: RNZ / Supplied

Story by RNZ

The Hurricanes will apologise to the government over a haka performed by its women's side the Poua labelling the government redneck.

Before their Super Rugby Aupiki season opener against the Chiefs Manawa the Hurricanes Poua used an altered haka which used the phrase "karetao o te Kāwana kakiwhero" or "puppets of this redneck government".

Hurricanes chief executive Avan Lee said he's disappointed by the action and there was no consulation with him by the players.

"Certainly disappointed. There was no discussion, no consultation and some of the words that were used, were interpreted to be very strong.

"The Hurricanes shouldn't be making any politcal statement. If they do it needs to be agreed across the organisation because we have got players and staff who are not comfortable with what is being said."

"There are obviously players and staff who agree with it but that is missing the point...we were blindsided," said Lee.

"Us making a political statement is inappropriate - whether they're saying 'the government is great or the government is not great' that's not our role."

Lee said he didn't expect any disciplinary action to be taken against the players but he is keen to understand who was behind the decision to go ahead with the altered haka.

"Our vision is to unite and excite and this thing is the furtherest from unite."

Sports and Recreation Minister Chris Bishop dismissed claims that the government was "redneck".

Bishop said he disagreed with the haka's message, but said the Poua were entitled to their view.

The Hutt South MP said he will continue supporting the Hurricanes.