Wednesday 25 April 2018

WATCH: President Michael D Higgins was welcomed to New Zealand with a traditional Haka

Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

President Michael D Higgins was welcomed to New Zealand with a traditional Haka.

The President is currently on a six day State Visit of New Zealand and began the day at Government House in Wellington.

Having pressed noses with Maori elders and taking part in a traditional Pōwhiri ceremony in which a warrior advanced towards him with a spear before placing a dart on the ground as a peace offering.

Maintaining eye contact with the warrior President Higgins stopped down and picked up the dart.

The warrior then slapped his thigh to signify that the ceremony had been a success.

After a Karanga, or call to welcome, a Maori party performed a traditional Haka.

In the dance, the President and their party were likened to passengers on an ancient war canoe.

Following this the Irish national anthem was played and a 21 gun salute fired.

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