New Zealand National Anthem - the unofficial one.

A highlight of any New Zealand visit is the opportunity to see the Māori people sharing their culture through their music and dance. This video is one such example of their music, recorded in 2012 when a New Zealand group competed in a music contest in the USA. It took place outside of the actual competition venue, an impromptu and powerful example of what bringing people together can do.

We hope you enjoy this performance as much as we did. 

Read below for how the performance came about, before listening to the song, called Pokarekare Ana, found HERE. Please be patient, it might take awhile for the video to start.

The origin of the song is uncertain, but is widely accepted as being a love song, written by a homesick Māori soldier from the trenches of World War 1, to his sweetheart back in New Zealand.

For New Zealanders living overseas (of which I am one) this beautiful song delivers a powerful emotional punch, often reducing us to tears of sudden homesickness. Similar perhaps to the effect on Americans of 'America The Beautiful' or 'This Land is Your Land'.

A choir from California, called Westminster Chorus, posted this video and it features them singing alongside a New Zealand group called Vocal FX.

As you will see, it's an impromptu performance, in a mall-like setting, and this somehow adds to the power of the performance. In a caption to the video, one of the Westminster Chorus wrote - "We sang this impromptu, as part of our general celebration in seeing each other and spending time together. Sharing this moment with our brothers from New Zealand was an incredible experience. We are very close with the vocal FX Wellington chorus and consider New Zealand a second home to us musically. We love you. Kia Kaha

'Kia kaha' is a Māori phrase used by both the Māori and Pākehā (European) people of New Zealand meaning 'stay strong'. The phrase has significant meaning for both the Māori and Pākehā people, popularised through its usage by the 28th Māori Battalion during World War II.


Wahine (female) dancers perform the Maori Poi.


The Haka, a war dance intended to intimidate an enemy.

When you arrange your New Zealand vacation with New Zealand Vacations we'll provide you with opportunities to experience the wonderful Māori culture through their dance and music. 

Lindsay Barron

Lindsay Barron • Dec 27, 2019