Maori Tell Anti-Vaxxers To Stop Using Their Ceremonial Dances

During demonstrations outside Wellington Parliament, some performed ceremonial Māori dances.

The Ngati Toa, an indigenous tribe in New Zealand, condemned a group of anti-vaccine protesters for performing a ceremonial Māori dance known as the Ka Met Haka during a demonstration in Wellington on 9 November.

“As descendants of Te Raupraha, we insist that protesters immediately stop using our tonga,” the senior member of Ngati Toa Taku Parai said in a statement on Radio Watiya this week. “We do not support his position.”

Last week, thousands gathered in New Zealand to protest Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s vaccine mandate, which requires all health care and education workers to be fully vaccinated. An estimated 3,000 marched to Wellington Parliament House last Tuesday to demand an end to the vaccine mandate and the COVID-19 lockdown. During those performances, some performed the Ka Met Haka, a dance used before some rugby games.

The Māori party, which has two members of parliament, has criticized the government for opening too early, while the country’s vaccination rate among indigenous people is still relatively low. Only 61% of Māori are fully vaccinated, compared to about 80% of people nationwide.

There have been only 34 deaths from Covid in New Zealand throughout the pandemic, but data from March showed that more than half of those who landed in intensive care units with the virus were Māori, a group that accounts for just 17% of the population. Was.

Ardern wants to open the country’s borders once 90% of the population has been vaccinated. A Māori leader called it a “death warrant” for the community. Indigenous vaccination rates remain low because of access to shots and mistrust in the government – easing restrictions too soon could exacerbate health inequalities, Māori leaders have said.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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