A TV commercial featuring actors dressed as All Blacks performing the haka alongside Japanese dancing girls is raising hackles within Maoridom and the New Zealand Rugby Union.

The Japanese commercial for Coke Zero, features popstar Namie Amuro alongside what advertising agency copy describes as "a troupe of studs from Kiwiland in the traditional Maori haka dance".

The men are actors wearing jerseys similar to All Black kit, but without the silver fern, and their movements appear to be from the Ka Mate haka.

Ngati Toa are considered the custodians of Ka Mate. Spokesman Te Ariki Wi Neera said an advertising agency had approached the iwi through the New Zealand embassy in Tokyo.

"We told them that if they wanted to use Ka Mate they needed to talk to us first. They declined to engage when they saw we were serious about protecting it."

He had not seen the ad, but was unimpressed after hearing it described: "We would have been happy to work with them, but it sounds like crap."

Despite a relationship with Coca-Cola, the New Zealand Rugby Union last night was unaware of the advertisement and expressed concern it might be inappropriately using the All Black brand. Paul Dalton, commercial manager for the union said: "We place a high value on our intellectual property and will be looking at this more closely next week."

Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell said Maori would be concerned about their culture being used in such a way: "Obviously we're pretty protective about the mana."

Coca-Cola Amatil New Zealand was unaware of the ad, but was last night making inquiries of its Hong Kong office.