Muslim and Catholic schools perform haka and waiata in tribute


On the weekend, a Catholic school that lost one its old boys in the Christchurch mosque attack paid tribute by performing a haka and waiata.

And on Wednesday At Al-Madinah School in Māngere, Auckland, a haka, prayer and waiata rang out at an assembly to remember those affected by the Christchurch mosque shootings.

St Thomas of Canterbury College, a Catholic school, learned that a former student who was a Muslim, Hussein Hazim Al-Umari, was killed in the attack.

In honour of Al-Umari and the other 49 victims, head boy Cameron Brewitt and a large number of pupils and ex-students organised to pay their respects by visiting the outside of the mosque at the Students’ Uniting in Love Memorial.

They sang a Fijian hymn and performed their moving school haka.

Brewitt says he is proud his Catholic school is inclusive of other religions and cultures.

He told the New Zealand Herald that the school respected different cultures and religions.

“The diversity in our school really highlights the respect and the amount of outpouring for this tragedy, and again highlights the respect we have for everyone no matter what ethnicity you are or the religion you follow,” he said.

At Al-Madinah School hundreds of school children, students and politicians had gathered in remembrance.

Everyone stood for the national anthem, but it was a rousing Ka Mate haka from a handful of boys which was met with raucous applause.

As the cry finished ringing out, the boys, in their white-and-black traditional uniforms, vigorously beat their feet on the ground.

Students from St Paul’s school in Auckland sang a rendition of the Māori hymn “Mo Maria”, after they were invited inside the Al-Masjid Al Jāmie Mosque in Ponsonby on Tuesday.


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