The haka is the definitive New Zealand ‘brand’ for many of our visitors.
The Rugby World Cup shows this clearly. What a spectacle the opening was, with this nation showcased to the world in traditional Maori metaphor. Haka (war dance), waiata (songs) and karanga (callings) are now an acceptable and large part of what we are as a nation.
In many ways I can understand why our sports have adopted this insignia of haka to express our joy in competition. Haka brings focus and pulls together a sense of purpose and unified teamwork. The All Blacks wouldn’t be quite the same without a “kamate”. When spirits are high and testosterone levels peaking the best way to release the spirit is with a “kamate”.
The power of the haka has biblical parallels. “Ho! Come to the waters” (Isa 55:1), in Maori would read, “Ho! Haere mai ki te waiora”. The Ho! Is an exclamation or command to attract attention; this is punctuated within the depth of exhaled breathe that, “Ho” carries. ‘Ho’ is a command. Haka narrative follows this same biblical precept in the use of certain words. The well-known haka, “Kamate” has embedded this chieftain statement by Te Rauparaha (Ngati Toa).
Ka Mate was composed by Te Rauparaha as a celebration of life over death after his lucky escape from pursuing Ngati Maniapoto and Waikato enemies. He had hidden from them in a food-storage pit, and climbed back into the light to be met by chief, Te Whareangi. The euphoria surrounding this deliverance gave rise to the famous Kamate haka that people from many nations associate our country with, especially since the All Blacks have performed Kamate since 1906.
I have always wanted to see sections of the bible put to haka. How rich and full it is, particularly when the Spirit of God breathes upon it. The bible is the strongest authority regarding the power of words. Jesus said His words were spirit (John 6:63). In Maori this is easier to understand given that we know the power of wairua (spirit), so marrying words and spirit as one is relatively easy. Interestingly, there are no words of abuse in Maori. Certainly, offence was given and taken, often grievously; yet words were not wasted on it.
I was led by the Spirit of God to a prophetic sequence held in the command from Elisha to King Joash to “Strike the ground” (2 Kings 13:14-19). Strike the ground in Maori is, “Poua Te Whenua”. The word Poua like the biblical word Ho is punctuated by the emission of deep breathes. It is “Poua”! It is spoken with authority and as a command.
Some of the background of this direction from Prophet Elisha to King Joash includes the idea that the prophet was leaving his signature that would reach and influence many generations. Elisha’s ministry was coming to an end. He was on his deathbed. A prophet of his statue wanted to ensure that his last prophetic directions would live beyond the grave. Joash were proxy for the deliverance script that Israel would follow.
There were two prophetic acts to be played out. First was that king Joash were to fire an arrow out the east window and secondly that Joash would strike the ground with arrows in hand. The first of firing the arrow was followed without fault. However, the second of striking the ground was not without error as the king struck the ground three times and the ground needed to be struck a minimum of 6-8 times. The number of times the ground was struck would correlate to how many times Israel would destroy their enemies the Syrians. Sadly Israel would only experience a partial deliverance; and succeeding generations would suffer because of Joash’s lack of courage. What a terrible script!
The whenua (ground/earth) that Joash were commanded to strike is no different to Christ shed blood striking the earth of our temporal existence; thereby bringing a strong deliverance to all generations. Jesus struck the ground of abuse; Jesus struck the ground of sicknesses and by His stripes we are healed - “Poua Te Whenua”.
At present the Spirit of God has me engaged in hosting meetings in different areas and I am seeing the power of striking the ground with apostolic fervour during prophetic worship. The Spirit of God made clear to me that when the ground is struck the heavens are opened. Poua Te Whenua is a break through anointing.
The timid response from King Joash to Elisha’s command to strike the ground is a reminder to our generation to be vigilant and courageous in prophetic warfare and annihilate all our enemies -“fear not, be not afraid”. Joash’s response takes on the character of much of our political correctness that is exercised in the modern church. War is not conventional. War is not timid. Spiritual warfare may upset the cordial non-offensive church manner to which we are accustomed. Striking the ground thrice is no different to stopping the worship service just when we are close to getting deliverance.
It is my conviction that sometimes our normal church services program needs to liquidate when the Spirit of God is impressing to keep pressing in worship until we experience a breakthrough. Our program needs to be exchanged for His program.
The Spirit of God has led me to produce, with the assistance of others, a Christian New Zealand haka; a haka that marries the ingenuity and authority of scripture with Maori metaphor. That haka is: “Poua Te Whenua”. Te Rauparaha celebrated life from the clutches of death from his enemies; Poua Te Whenua declares our authority from generational curses and celebrates the power of the cross of Calvary; “Jesus is Lord”.... POUA TE WHENUA!
It would be a dream come true to see this haka performed in schools, churches, prisons, marae, television, and all sectors; a true Christian haka.
Poua Te Whenua strikes to the core of what we are as people. It is a taonga (gift/treasure). It is God taking on the nature of man through Jesus.Enjoy the video tutorial of POUA TE WHENUA . . . Rawiri Love