Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke, the youngest Member of Parliament for New Zealand in 170 years, honored her indigenous people in Parliament by doing the war cry commonly known as “Maori haka.” Following her first speech in Parliament, the 21-year-old MP performed the traditional ‘haka’ or ‘war cry’ in front of the entire Māori population. The video of her war cry has been making the rounds on social media notwithstanding the trolling she has been recieving, where netizens are calling him the “sister of Mahua Moitra” for her aggressive and fierce speech.
As Maipi-Clarke stated in her address, “I will die for you… but I will also live for you.”
“I genuinely feel as though I delivered my first speech outside the Parliament steps last year, marking Te Petihana’s 50th anniversary,” she remarked, dedicating it to her grandparents. In December, she addressed the parliament, saying, “However, this speech today… is dedicated to all our children.”
What does “war cry” or “Maori Haka” mean?
“Maori Haka,” in other words, known as the war cry, was a traditional greeting ritual for visiting tribes that also functioned as a pre-battle energy booster for warriors. All New Zealanders take great delight in the Māori performance of haka. The New Zealand Defence Force and the All Blacks are the most well-known performers of it.
Though haka is the Māori term for dance, it’s not what you usually think of as a dance. It is typically done in groups and includes chanting as well as hand and facial gestures, stamping, and other movements.
Who is New Zealand’s Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke?
Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke is 21 years old and Aotearoa’s youngest MP since 1853. She defeated the nation’s longest-serving female MP, Nanaia Mahuta, to win the seat.
Taitimu Maipi, her grandfather, belonged to the Māori activist group Nga Tamatoa. Her great, great, great grandfather was the first Māori minister in parliament for New Zealand.
“Mokopuna kia koe hooki mai too.” The first Maaori Minister in Parliament, Wiremu Katene, was my great-grandfather four times over. “My first stop is taaku kaitiaki, roto, and teenei whare,” she wrote in an Instagram photo from the previous year.
She does not see herself as the political leader but as a guardian of the Maaori language.