Soldiers' farewell haka footage goes viral

By Paul Harper

A video of the passionate haka performed by the comrades of three fallen New Zealand soldiers has gone viral, with tens of thousands of people around the world watching the clip.

The 2nd and 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment performed the moving tribute for Corporal Luke Tamatea, 31, Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker, 26, and Private Richard Harris, 21, at their funeral service at the Burnham Military Camp in Christchurch on Saturday.

The trio were killed instantly when a roadside bomb destroyed their Humvee in Afghanistan's northeast Bamiyan Province on August 18.

A video of the haka put on YouTube by the New Zealand Defence Force has gone viral, with more than 122,000 views.

The emotional tribute was given publicity by CNN host Piers Morgan, who shared the clip with his 2.6 million followers on Twitter.

"Astounding, and deeply moving, Haka tribute to fallen comrades in Afghanistan by @NZDefenceForce," the Briton wrote.

Army spokesman Major John Gordon told the Herald last week the haka represented their "outpouring of emotion".

"Our military is a small organisation and people tend to all know each other," he said.

"Many soldiers don't tend to show their emotions. But today, you saw their collective grief. Their personal grieving will come later."

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