Now it's a new haka for every sport

By Tim Eves

Each New Zealand sporting code at the Commonwealth Games is expected to follow the lead of its swim team and personalise its own haka.

The trend began with a stirring haka from the swim team celebrating Moss Burmester's 200m butterfly gold medal.

It featured the actions of the four swimming disciplines, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle.

New Zealand chef de mission Dave Currie said every team was now considering revealing their own distinctive haka.

"Our kaumatua, Amster Reedy, has helped develop a separate haka for the teams. It is an important way for athletes to express themselves. We started the process in Athens and we are still working on developing haka for each specific team," Currie said.

"The swim team have developed their own actions to include swimming stroke actions, and from what I gather other teams are following suit.

"It is not planned that we do a haka for every medal celebration, but I think we have all realised that it is a fabulous way for our athletes to acknowledge fellow athletes."

Mr Reedy said he had been working on developing unique haka for each sport since last year, and warned that more spine-tingling versions were set to be unveiled in Melbourne.

He thinks the uniquely New Zealand tradition is adding mystique to the team.

"There is not a time you do a haka without a chill going up your spine.

"It can get repetitious, but the good thing about this team is that it is full of young people who want to express themselves."

The hockey team was working on a haka which incorporated their sticks.

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