- Publish Date
- Tuesday, 10 September 2019, 1:55PM
Air New Zealand staff took to the tarmac in Auckland to farewell the All Blacks with an awesome haka as they headed off to the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Around 60 Air New Zealand employees performed the Air New Zealand haka, Te Mangopare, about the Air NZ Koru, before moving into Ka Mate.
The All Blacks' first match in the tournament is against South Africa in Yokohama on September 21.
As the winners of the past two World Cups, the All Blacks could become the first team to win the competition three times in a row.
Air New Zealand Cultural Development Manager Henare Johnson says today’s performance is especially poignant given the timing.
“This week of course marks the beginning of Māori Language Week, but this year is also the 20th anniversary of the first time the New Zealand national anthem was sung in te reo on the global stage. This paved the way for New Zealand to embrace a bilingual anthem.
“As the airline that’s crazy about rugby we were thrilled to be able to give the All Blacks, as ambassadors of our language, our country, and our people, a very special farewell ahead of their next big challenge in Japan. Kia kaha te Kapa ō Pango.”
Go the All Blacks!