Home and Away

Last night's powerful Haka scene on Home and Away marks an historical step forward in diversity for Aussie TV shows

Fans praised the show for the incredible on-screen portrayal.

By Jess Pullar
Fans have flooded social media with praise after watching incredibly moving scenes on Home and Away last night.
The show delved into the storyline of the Paratas, a Maori family who arrived in Summer Bay earlier this year.
After attempting to get back to New Zealand to pay respects to one of their late family members to no avail, the family are forced to stay in Australia - so instead, they acknowledge his memory with a Haka on the beach.
The incredible scenes of the Parata family performing the Haka were nothing short of breathtaking - the ceremonial dance is a foundational part of Maori culture, and has been used for various events of importance in New Zealand for hundreds of years with the Kiwi rugby team, the All Blacks, performing it before each of their games.
The Haka is also performed in respect of a person at a funeral, as well as at other occasions of significance.
The emotional scenes struck a chord with fans. (Channel Seven)
In the powerful scene, three of the Parata men stand together on Home and Away's iconic beach, fictionally known as Summer Bay, located in Sydney's Palm Beach in real life.
"What are we even doing here?" one asks.
"We're here to remember your dad," Ari tells them.
The three men break into a deeply passionate, emotional haka as they look out over the ocean.
The show ends as they finish the traditional dance with an eerie silence that left viewers speechless.
Actors Rob Kipa-Williams, Tana Parata and Nikau Parata were part of a show first in Australian soap history. (Channel Seven)
The scene clearly struck a chord with fans, with many taking to social media to share their thoughts.
"WOW! That was an extraordinary, powerful, very culturally aware episode of #HomeAndAway tonight!" Wrote Twitter user @upside000.
"I'm blown away by it. Well done guys - it was a beautiful and very touching episode incorporating the culture of our #Maori brothers and sisters! About time! More culture please," they added.
Another said: "Great to see some kiwi culture on @homeandaway tonight - awesome job guys!"

It seems the actors were also deeply moved while filming the scenes.
Speaking to Huffington Post Australia, Rob Kipa-Williams, who plays Ari said his performance was dedicated to his own Aunty, Leah, who recently passed away back in New Zealand. Rob was unable to attend her funeral given the current COVID-19 restrictions.
"This sudden passing was heartbreaking, a huge shock and sadly I missed her Tangi (funeral)," he said.
He explained how he still played a special part in her funeral.
"My cousins video called me as they carried my Aunty to the hearse from our tribal meeting house and the men of my family broke in to Haka. I joined them through the phone screen."
He added he was "Sending my love across the sea to her as we do in tonight's episode for Mikaere. I dedicate this episode to my Aunty Leah. I love her and miss her dearly!"
Rob Kipa-Williams dedicated the Haka scene to his Aunty Leah, who recently passed away. (Instagram)
The scenes were certainly a first for the show, and a beautiful nod of acknowledgement to the Indigenous people of our friends across the ditch, as well as a commitment to educating, advocating and working towards a world without systemic racism.

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