Rotorua makes haka history with world record bid video

MARK TAYLOR FAIRFAXMEDIA NZ

A record 7770 people turned out for the world record haka attempt on Rotorua's Village Green on Saturday.

The crowd count in Rotorua reached 7770 for the attempt to wrestle back the haka world record from France.

That's enough to break both the current Guinness World Record of 4028 and the unofficial Masterton tally of 6200.

There were a number of measures put in place by event organisers to ensure the record attempt fitted the strict Guinness rules.

Grid lines were painted on the grass for haka participants to stand in and just ahead of the attempt, an official counted the people in each grid.

The crowd practises for the world record haka attempt.
BENN BATHGATE/FAIRFAX NZ

The crowd practises for the world record haka attempt.

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There were some high-tech checks, too.

Each participant was handed a ticket before entry to be scanned into a database of numbers and they were watched from the sky.

Event MC Paul Hickey said the International Rugby Club drone would not only be used to count numbers, just to check all were taking part.

"If you're scratching your nose or eating a pie, you won't be counted," Hickey said.

He said the unofficial count was 7770, smashing the French record by 3742 and 1570 higher than the Masterton bid.

It could be months before the attempt is ratified by Guinness. 

Rex O'Connor and daughter Danielle get ready for the haka world record attempt.
BENN BATHGATE/FAIRFAX NZ

Rex O'Connor and daughter Danielle get ready for the haka world record attempt.

Speaking ahead of the attempt, Rotorua Boys' High deputy principal Fred Whata said the attempt is personal.

"The French beat us in the World Cup twice. They blew up our Rainbow Warrior. It's time to take back our haka, it's time for utu, it's time for revenge."

The attempt was led by Boys' High - the 2016 kapa haka secondary schools' national champions.

Practice has begun for the world haka attempt.
BENN BATHGATE/FAIRFAX NZ

Practice has begun for the world haka attempt.

"The haka belongs to Maori. That's where it originates from. We need to own this. It will be a history-making event," Whata said.

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The official record of 4028 participants was achieved at an event organised by car manufacturer Mazda in Brive-la-Gaillarde, France, in 2014.

The Masterton haka of 6200, while not officially ratified yet, occurred in November 2016.

More than 6200 people are needed to set a world record for the haka and take the title back from France.
BENN BATHGATE/FAIRFAX NZ

More than 6200 people are needed to set a world record for the haka and take the title back from France.

 

The crowds are gathering on the Rotorua Village Green for the haka attempt.
BENN BATHGATE/FAIRFAX NZ

The crowds are gathering on the Rotorua Village Green for the haka attempt.

 - Stuff

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