Maori Farewell for Three Kiwi Troops


27 August 2012

On 19 August an IED strike took the lives of three New Zealand troops in Afghanistan.  Lost were Corporal Luke Tamatea, 31, Private Richard Harris, 21, and Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker, 26, medic.

Jacinda was the first New Zealand female killed in Afghanistan.  The strike occurred in Bamiyan Province which has become increasingly dangerous.  Two Kiwi troops were killed there earlier this month.  In the past, Bamiyan has been touted as a vacation spot during the war, with regular flights into the region.

The New Zealand Defence Force released the following video of hundreds of troops performing a Maori funeral Haka at the Burnham Military Camp near Christchurch:

"Haka is used throughout New Zealand by many, not only Māori, to demonstrate their collective thoughts. There is a haka for each of the Services, as well as the Defence Force. Units with the NZ Army have their own haka. This video shows the soldiers of 2/1 RNZIR Battalion performing their Unit haka, powerfully acknowledging the lives and feats of their fallen comrades as they come onto the Unit's parade ground. It is also an emotive farewell for they will leave via the waharoa (the carved entrance way) for the very last time.

"Haka --sometimes termed a posture dance could also be described as a chant with actions. There are various forms of haka; some with weapons some without, some have set actions others may be 'free style.' Haka is used by Māori (indigenous people of New Zealand) for a myriad of reasons; to challenge or express defiance or contempt, to demonstrate approval or appreciation, to encourage or to discourage, to acknowledge feats and achievements, to welcome, to farewell, as an expression of pride, happiness or sorrow. There is almost no inappropriate occasion for haka; it is an outward display of inner thoughts and emotions. Within the context of an occasion it is abundantly clear which emotion is being expressed."

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    vern · 9 years ago
    Thanks to a friends forwarding the video another American has become enlighted and thankful for your sacrafices. Your comrade will not be forgotten when we honor all veterns here in America on our day of rememberence to ALL men & women who have served, "Veterens Day"
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Terry Brauweiler · 9 years ago
    On behalf of the Cpl Albert Storm CD (Niagara) Chapter of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping, we send our heart felt condolences to your "Heros of Peace", their families, their friends and to all the members of a very proud Regiment. Being in "Harms Way" means that lives are being saved elsewhere. Your tribute to your fallen comrades was inspiring and shows just how much you are all "FAMILY" onto each other. Only those who have lived under the threat of death 24/7 on foriegn shores, can understand your tremendous loss. Our chapter has an initative underway to use the forget me not flower as a way to promote all the UN and NATO Vets. Someday, I'd like to visit your country and witness the pride of New Zealanders.

    "Lest We Forget" "Forget Us Not"

    T Brauweiler,PRO, (M/Cpl Ret'd)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Robert carruthers · 9 years ago
    So very powerful...never seen anything like this.....I'm ex military.....lost friends, but this blew me sad for these young men and women.....regardless.....we have one common enemy....we know who thy are........and we must support those involved.....strength and honour.....we will overcome.......
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Wilf Waller · 9 years ago
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Peter Lewis · 9 years ago
    Now that's what i call a real send off to a fallen comrade, full of power and deep emotion.

    It was lovely to see a different Haka that we are used to seeing in the Northern hemisphere when your supreme All Blacks conquer everyone before them.

    It was a shame it could not be witnessed in happier circumstances.

    I have relatives living in Palmerston North in North Island but New Zealand is a long way from North Wales here in the Uk.

    Thank you for sharing this moment with those around the World.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    lee moraitis · 9 years ago
    I have watched this and passed it on to many of my friends. Have not lived in New Zealand for over 26 years but felt a great sense of pride and amazement for the haka ceremony for the fallen soldiers. Brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful send off for them.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Eddie Duke-Low · 9 years ago
    So sad , may they rest in peace and rise in Glory with deepest sympathy to their family's
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tom OReilly · 9 years ago
    Haere e hoa ma, kia koutou na hoia o Ngati Tumatauenga ka maringi na roimata me na hupe ki runga ia koutou hei kakaho ma koutou..haere ki na matua tipuna, haere haere haere atu ra.
    Go in peace soldiers of Ngati Tumatauenga
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Jerry Zimmermann · 6 years ago
      Would you please give us a translation of what you said in Maori?
      God Bless Those Warriors!!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Pat Fleming · 8 years ago
    Ret in peace warriors......
  • This commment is unpublished.
    ron McGee · 6 years ago
    "Now is the Hour when we must say GOODBYE"
    A fitting FAREWELL for fine WARRIORS.
    Proud to be associated with NEW ZEALAND.
    God Bless our ANZACS.

  • This commment is unpublished.
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  • This commment is unpublished.
    A JHawley-Thomas · 4 years ago
    No politics will bring them back.

    You served your country, and fellow man.
    At ease troopers
    At Ease.
  • This commment is unpublished.
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