For more than a century Kiwi rugby players have been performing haka before matches and now two referees have joined in - recreating referee signals using traditional haka actions.

Richard Tuhaka and Troy Para Snr, from Ngati Porou East Coast Rugby Football Union (ECRFU), show off their moves in a video created by the Ruatoria based union to celebrate its "unique identity as the only iwi based rugby union in the world".

In the clip the two men perform traditional haka actions similar to common rugby refereeing signals while standing in front of a blue ECRFU ute.

The names of the referee signals in te reo Maori and English appear on screen in text when the men demonstrate them.


The union released the video on its website as part of the launch of te reo whutupöro - an initiative celebrating te reo Maori.

Its stars have been long term supporters of and participants in East Coast rugby.

Para Snr is co-coach of the Ngati Porou East Coast provincial team which will line-up in the 2017 Heartland Championship.

He is also a referee for the province and is affiliated with the province's powerful Hikurangi club.

Tuhaka is a former East Coast player, who played during the province's giant-killing run in the early 2000s.

Since retiring from rep rugby he has become one of the province's leading referees.

ECRFU encourages people to share the video on social media using the hashtags #NPEC #tereowhutuporo and #matereo.