Whiti te ra
The ‘Ka Mate’ haka has been officially designated the intellectual property of Ngati Toa in a compensation agreement signed in Wellington. Ngati Toa was compensated for its decades of use by the All Blacks, and wider grievances dating more than 150 years, with a multi-million dollar settlement. The dance and its words were composed by a notoriously aggressive Maori chief, Te Rauparaha (1768-1849), who headed the tribe and controlled the lower North Island and northern part of the South Island until British colonisers arrived in 1840. The first compensation deal to include intellectual property, it does not give the tribe the right to veto use of the haka or allow it to claim royalties for its performance. In 2006, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade formally complained about a television commercial for Italian car company Fiat featuring black-clothed women imitating a haka, dubbing it culturally insensitive and inappropriate.