World record haka attempt in the Bay
Rotorua is set to be the scene of the latest attempt at the world’s largest haka this weekend.
At midday Saturday, locals and visitors alike are invited to come together at Rotorua’s Village Green by the lakefront and perform the famous haka Ka Mate in an attempt to bring the record home to New Zealand.
“The official record is currently held by the French at 4100 people, but to beat the most recent attempt, an epic giant haka performed by thousands of school children in Masterton last year, we will have to get more than 6200 people to the green on the day,” says a statement from the Rotorua Lakes Council.
“The goal is to smash the record and get 10,000 people there.”
There is also another chance to get your hands on tickets to Saturday’s big game between the Maori All Blacks and The British & Irish Lions.
Destination Rotorua has four more tickets which will be given out by the MC Paul Hickey to two ‘stand-out’ fans at the Giant Haka on Saturday morning between 10.30am and midday.
There will also be trip to OGO Rotorua up for grabs for the most ‘stand-out’ group so get all everyone together ready to wow the judge on the day.
What you need to know
Entry to the haka arena at the Village Green officially opens at 10.30am with entertainment and haka practise before the formal attempt at midday. Participants are encouraged to get there early so there is plenty of time to get everyone in place.
Fun and entertainment
While everyone is gearing up for the formal attempt there will be face painting, banner and flag making in the Fan Fair area so you can show your support for your favourite team.
The Bay of Plenty Steamers will be at the Village Green from 10.30 – 11am for a public meet and greet.
Food and beverage trucks will be available and Eat Streat is close by. Bring the whole whānau with a picnic and make a day of it.
Counting the participants
Last week the Village Green was painted with a grid of 100 squares which will act as markers to help count the number of participants. There is enough space to get 10,000 plus people doing the haka.
As participants arrive they will be handed a ticket with a barcode which will be scanned. The MC on the day, Paul Hickey from The Hits radio station, will be keeping everyone updated as the numbers grow.
Two hundred volunteers from Rotorua schools will be stationed around the arena to help count the participants and to make sure everyone knows the moves and performs the haka correctly.