Sir Pita Sharples has described as "insulting" an attempt by a British menswear chain to create its own haka ahead of the Rugby World Cup

In a video fronted by former England captain Matt Dawson, a group of rugby players clad in English colours perform a dance called 'The Hakarena', fusing the actions of Ka Mate with those from popular 1994 dance song Macarena.

In a video fronted by former England captain Matt Dawson, a group of players perform a dance called 'The Hakarena', fusing the actions of Ka Mate with those from popular 1994 dance.
In a video fronted by former England captain Matt Dawson, a group of players perform a dance called 'The Hakarena', fusing the actions of Ka Mate with those from popular 1994 dance.

But Sir Pita, former co-leader of the Maori Party, said the video was both disrespectful to Maori culture and missing the point of the All Blacks' pre-match war cry.

"The haka is done as a way of honouring the enemy," he said. "You don't do it in those sorts of circumstances -- you do it if you're up for a challenge.

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"By doing a haka as the All Blacks do, it's recognising the worth of the other side. So if they're doing something to mock the haka, then I think that's pretty shameful."

In the video, released by retailer Jacamo with a slogan "Do The #Hakarena", Dawson led a group of players from London club team Battersea Ironsides and implored English fans to adopt the dance and counteract any advantage the All Blacks receive from the haka.

"England have an amazing chance to be crowned world champions but there's a major obstacle -- the All Blacks," Dawson said to start the video. "The current world champions are in amazing form with awesome power, strength, depth and one secret weapon -- the haka.

"But I'm telling you what, we've got our own secret weapon. Have a go at the hakarena, maybe we'll put the All Blacks off their rhythm."

Sir Pita said neither opposition teams nor fans were obliged to accept the All Blacks' challenge -- with other sides well within their rights to stand in a huddle while the haka was performed -- but he warned English supporters against following Dawson's suggestion.

"The haka is very meaningful to us," he said. "To actually mimic it and deliberately bring it into ridicule is, to me, insulting.

"The Maoris and New Zealanders in London could react to that big time."