Warriors want own club haka

DAVID LONG
Last updated 05:00 03/03/2013

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Warriors co-owner Sir Owen Glenn wants his team to perform a haka before each National Rugby League match.

The multimillionaire philanthropist believes the Auckland club needs to express New Zealand culture.

Sir Owen is creating a haka for the upcoming season that starts this week.

"We are New Zealanders and we're going to bring back a haka for the team and a chant, and we're working on that now with Donna Grant and her husband, Anaru," Sir Owen said.

"This [the Warriors] is a Kiwi brand, let's be proud of it. If we don't win the game, which we will, then let's win the war chant."

Grant, the daughter of late entertainer Sir Howard Morrison, last May became the first woman to be appointed to the Warriors board.

She is executive director of Rotorua's Manaakitanga Aotearoa Charitable Trust, head of performing arts at Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, and serves on boards including the Glenn Family Foundation, Te Matatini National Kapa Haka and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority Nga Kaituhono Advisory Board.

Sir Owen wants the Warriors to perform the pre-match haka in the same way as the All Blacks. "It is very likely, that's one thing I'd like to have my say on. We are Kiwis, let's be proud of that."

Possible issues surrounding a Warriors haka include the fact not all team members are New Zealanders, and whether it is right for a privately owned club to do the haka.

The merit of Sir Owen's plan was questioned by All Blacks great Wayne "Buck" Shelford, who was credited with putting pride back into the All Blacks' haka in the 1980s.

The sight of the Warriors performing the challenge before every NRL match "would be pretty wearying . . . it's not a national side, it's only a club side," he said. "To have it domestically in a [club] competition would be pretty tiring."

The fact that half of the NRL team that would perform it were in fact Australian was another concern, he said.

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