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Uenuku Fairhall – writing the haka Haane

Uenuku talks about Haane’s deeds, his humility and his beliefs about atua.


At the time the haka was composed, it was extremely difficult to find comparisons for the man himself, he was superhuman, the things he actually did over there in the war. They were things of a superhuman nature, requiring extraordinary abilities, in the best sense. But when you met Haane, you would be quite startled because he was a very humble man. He was supremely quiet, it’s not as if he didn’t talk at all, but yes he was a very quiet man.

 He would never talk about his own valour, about his bravery, only others could do that. I think no doubt it was like that during the war when he was performing his great deeds. That was how it was, there was no doubt in his mind, the amazing deeds he carried out were things he regarded as his duty. And off he went to get them done. He wasn’t looking for any great recognition of his deeds for himself, but he was a man clearly ready to do what had to be done.