Māori help Native American whanau's plea to stop oil pipe

Hip Hop Hollywood 01/11/2016

An indigenous tribe in the United States has called on Māori to help fight the construction of an oil pipeline through sacred land.

And Māori have answered, performing haka around the world and posting them to Facebook in a global show of support.

Video emerged of a lone Māori performing a passionate haka at a sacred Native American reservation in the US. More than 12,000km from home, he's joined an epic battle over native rights.

The Native American community of Standing Rock in North Dakota is fighting the construction of a multi-billion dollar oil pipeline through their land.

The anonymous ally was responding to a call to action from Native American activist Myron Dewey.

"We need to show them the power; [the] strength of Indigenous [and] international unity."

His plea was also heard by Te Hamua Nikora in Gisborne.

"We see each other as whanau - when they're hurting, we are hurting as well - and we just feel that there's got to be some way that we can help," he said.

Mr Nikora has composed a haka in support of the cause, and wants Māori to perform and share it on Facebook.

His page already has more than 8000 members and videos are pouring in from Whakatane, Auckland, Taupo, New Plymouth and even Dubai.

"They look to Māori as leaders in the field of treaty rights and treaty claims. We're the people with a treaty from 1840 and we still hold to that treaty," Mr Nikora said.

He is now planning a trip to America - not to join the frontline, but to support those behind it.

"Making sure that there's food for the warriors, that there's a place for the warriors to sleep," he said of the task ahead of him.

And most importantly, his task is to stand arm-in-arm with his Native American whanau.