Barack Obama heard about them and Hollywood star Jamie Foxx tweeted of meeting them, but the author of a new book on the Destiny Church is not convinced its kapa haka group belonged at a massive civil rights commemoration in Washington DC this week.
The 12-strong group from the South Auckland church led by Brian Tamaki did a five-minute haka on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King jnr's history-making "I Have a Dream" speech.
The group - invited by King's daughter Bernice - were photographed with Foxx, who later posted the picture on his Twitter page.
Tamaki re-posted it, tweeting "Hollywood nxt boys huh lol".
Less impressed was Massey University professor of history Peter Lineham, who published Destiny: The Life and Times of a Self-Made Apostle in July.
While he respected Bernice King's right to invite the group, he found their presence "paradoxical".
"The whole essence of Martin Luther King was as a civil rights campaigner. Destiny have certainly stood up for Maori rights. Today the whole civil rights thing is for gay rights and they haven't exactly stood up for that."
No one from Destiny was available for comment.