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Uenuku Fairhall – origin of the haka Haane

Uenuku talks about being approached by Ngāti Rangiwewehi to compose a haka about Haane for the Aotearoa Cultural Festival.


I had been composing waiata and haka for Ngāti Rangiwewehi for a long time, then in one year, there was a lot of focus on military matters. Atareta Maxwell and her nephew Hiwaroa Morrison came to see me with a request to compose a haka about Haane Manahi. It was an ideal request because this is one of my relations. That explains where it came from. It wasn’t my own idea to compose the haka, it was a request from them.

I am a composer, but I am not that great on the body movements, in other words, the arrangements of the haka in performance – how it should be performed, whether some parts should be performed briskly, some slowly, some with precision. I leave all that to Hiwaroa.