Win by design
A Ngati Toa designer’s graphic portrayal of the famous Ka Mate haka will feature globally in the lead-up to the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Piri-Hira Tukapua’s design was selected on September 9, one year before kick off, as a symbol to reflect Aotearoa New Zealand.
It is one of 11 licensed Maori designs to be used on merchandise related to the Rugby World Cup.
‘‘It is not a symbol or logo for the Rugby World Cup,’’ said RWC spokesman Mike Jasper.
Ngati Toa chief Te Rauparaha composed Ka Mate after a neardeath experience while being pursued by his enemy, Ms Tukapua said.
Six months ago, Ms Tukapua – who set up Taitoko Design and Print four years ago in Levin and is a descendent of Te Rauparaha – took up the challenge to submit a haka design to Ngati Toa’s governance body.
She prayed for divine inspiration, then shut herself in her office for a couple of hours to produce the first draft.
‘‘I believe in the God of the Bible, and I asked him for help. I do believe I got the opportunity and success in answer to prayer,’’ Ms Tukapua, 30, said.
‘‘ Ka Mate is the expression of death. Ka Ora is the expression of life. The taiaha or weapon is Te Rauparaha. The taiaha cuts through mate [creating the white line] and overcomes death. The silhouette is our warrior spirit, skilful, and strong. The koru pattern on the left of the K are who we represent, past, present, and future generations.’’
Going global: Piri-Hira Tukapua with her Rugby World Cup design featuring the well-known haka.