Flash-mob Haka rocks suburban mall

KIRSTY JOHNSTON
Last updated 10:40 05/09/2011

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Rugby fans are taking World Cup fever to new levels, surprising shoppers with flash mob haka around Auckland.

The group of young men appeared from nowhere to perform ear-splitting chants in the city centre and at Sylvia Park mall during the weekend.

Their performances were caught on video by several bystanders and uploaded to YouTube, where the clips are gaining growing attention.

Footage uploaded by YouTube user Cherry (eyiboom43) shows three men loitering in a square at Sylvia Park acting as though they are about to get into a fight.

Suddenly, a cry comes up and then men burst into a chant.

"We were on our way home when something odd was happening," Cherry said.

"I was lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time."

The three men are joined by around thirty "bystanders", including young men in high-visibility vests, creating a booming noise that echoes around the square.

As the haka finishes, the crowd cheers, and the performers casually disappear back into the crowd.

An aerial video uploaded by organiser Michael Moka  kash1n21 says the performance was the "first flash mob for RWC and definitely won't [be the] last."

"Start the new craze Whanau," he said.

Moka said the group was made up of 55 young Maori leaders from around the country, brought together for the World Cup.

They would complete a number of challenges - including potentially participating in the opening ceremony - one of which was to make the haka contemporary.

"We got a great response. It would be great if there could be flash mob haka across the country," he said.

Comments on the videos say the footage makes people "feel proud to be Kiwi".

"You should post the words an where the next one will be, that way we can all get involved!! Mean Maori mean!!"

Spectator Sarah Jamieson was stoked to have caught the Sylvia Park moment on her camera phone.

"[It's] never been done before in New Zealand and way better than the Melbourne one you see on YouTube," she said.

The term "flash mob" refers to a group of people who suddenly assemble in a public place to perform - usually music - and then disperse as quickly as they appear.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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