Aucklanders may be surprised twice more over the next two days by a haka "flashmob" in town for the opening of the Rugby World Cup tomorrow.
The 54-strong group have stopped shoppers at Sylvia Park, the Viaduct and on Queen St over the past week performing the haka Maui Potiki, named after a Maori hero.
Their Sylvia Park performance has had 377,526 views on YouTube, and yesterday the Herald found them practising atop Maungawhau (Mt Eden).
Haka exponent Tapeta Wehi is the brains behind the fun.
"I used to watch the flashmobs in the airports and I always thought it was pretty cool, the dance and the choreography.
"I thought, 'Wouldn't it be awesome to do a haka flashmob?'
"All these Maori boys, they've all done haka before so it wasn't hard to organise."
Mr Wehi is tutoring the group, who will feature in the tournament's opening.
Aged between 16 and 35, they come from every iwi throughout the country, and include King Tuheitia's son Korotangi.
Mr Wehi is keeping tight-lipped about what they'll perform tomorrow but he said Aucklanders should keep their eyes peeled in the meantime for further haka from the flashmob, because at least two more are planned.
Maui Potiki was composed by his father, Dr Ngapo Wehi, the renowned composer for the champion haka team Waka Huia.
"It's about 25 years old and the reason why I choose it, rather than doing an iwi haka or Ka Mate which is pretty well known, is that all these boys can whakapapa [relate] to Maui."
He hopes their efforts have contributed to the World Cup buzz in city.
"There's a bit of a vibe going, eh?"
Yesterday, as tourists on Mt Eden gathered to watch the flashmob practising, Frenchman Karim Zerari said the haka made him all the more ready for the All Blacks' clash with his team in pool play on Saturday, September 24, at Eden Park. "I think the All Blacks will win that game but the French will win the final," he joked.
Flashmobbers Waiariki Parata-Taiapa, 22, and Junior Tana, 28, said they were loving the buildup to the cup.
"We're definitely contributing to the wairua [spirit] of the event," Mr Tana said.
"It's got hundreds of thousands excited and we're hoping to represent Maoridom hard."
WATCH THE FLASHMOB