The New Zealand national anthem will be solely sung in Te Reo Māori at the Tall Blacks ‘top of the table
’ clash with Lebanon in Rotorua tonight.
FIBA rules allow only one minute for a team’s pre-game ritual, with most teams meeting that requirement with their anthem. New Zealand is the only nation in the FIBA competition to be granted an additional minute for their haka, Tū Kaha O Pango Te Kahikatea. Yet the additional time is not enough for the Tall Blacks to complete both versions of the anthem and their haka, with proceedings running overtime and into the three minute countdown to tip-off.
Basketball New Zealand Chief Executive, Iain Potter, says the organisation was required by FIBA to reduce the team’s pre-game ritual to within the allocated two minutes.
“We understand where FIBA are coming from and the fact that we have one more minute than any other team in the world is a privilege, not a right. It’s important that we respect that rule and the opposition too.
“The last three minutes before tip-off are for the teams to complete their warm-ups. We agree that, although the opposition have been respectful of the haka, we should not be cutting into their warm-up time.
“Cutting Tū Kaha was not an option. We’re likely to alternate the English and Māori versions of the anthem at FIBA matches, and sing the full version when the rules allow. We feel this is the only way to honour both versions of our anthem, and our haka.
“It’s not ideal leaving one version silent as, of course, Kiwis are patriotic about both. Yet our haka and our team are also about respect for the opposition, we believe this way is our best solution to honour both our nation and the one we are facing,” said Mr Potter.
When asked why the version in Te Reo Māori got first pick, Potter said it felt right that way, but last week’s celebration of Māori language played a part too.
“It’s a fitting time with Māori Language Week just finishing. It’s wonderful how Kiwis have celebrated Te Reo Māori this last week and to see it used so regularly in the media,” said Potter.
The Tall Blacks face Lebanon tonight at the Energy Events Centre in Rotorua at 7pm. Tickets at www.ticketmaster.co.nz
The game will be broadcast live and free-to-air on Maori Television from 7pm on Channels 19 (Sky TV) and 5 (Freeview). It will also be livestreamed on www.maoritelevision.com
FIBA World Cup Qualifying
Along with China and Korea, New Zealand has crossed over into Group E, carrying points from their earlier group with them (5 wins, 1 loss), and will play home and away games against Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Group F contains Australia, Iran, Philippines, Japan, Kazakhstan and Qatar.
The top three teams in each of the two final groups will qualify for China 2019, along with the best fourth placed team from the two final groups. Complicating the process is that China, as hosts of the World Cup, do not count in the final placings, but will continue to play out their remaining matches.
CLICK HERE for group standings and link to all remaining games
MBO Tall Blacks World Cup Qualifying
v Lebanon, September 17, Rotorua, 7pm tip off, tickets at www.ticketmaster.co.nz
Guards: Shea Ili, SKYCITY Breakers; Jarrod Kenny, Cairns Taipans; Ethan Rusbatch, Bay Hawks; Tai Webster, Galatasaray (Turkey). Forwards: Reuben Te Rangi, Brisbane Bullets; Dion Prewster, Bay Hawks; Jordan Ngatai, SKYCITY Breakers; Isaac Fotu, Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany); Finn Delany, SKYCITY Breakers; Mika Vukona, Brisbane Bullets.
Centres: Rob Loe, Cairns Taipans; Tohi Smith-Milner, Melbourne United
Head Coach: Paul Henare
Assistant Coaches: Pero Cameron, Mike Fitchett
Physiotherapist: Anousith Bouaaphone
Massage Therapist: Shelley Moana Hiha
Manager: Andrew Dewhurst
MBO Tall Blacks FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, ROUND TWO
Date | Opponents | Home/Away
- AWAY: 13 Sep 2018 vs Syria, Nouhad Nawfal Stadium, Zouk Mikael, Lebanon (Tall Blacks won 107-66)
- HOME: 17 Sep 2018 vs Lebanon, Energy Events Centre, Rotorua. Tip off 7pm
- HOME: 29 Nov 2018 vs Jordan, Horncastle Arena, Christchurch
- HOME: 2 Dec 2018 vs Syria, TSB Bank Arena, Wellington
- AWAY: 21 or 22 Feb 2019 vs Lebanon in Lebanon
- AWAY: 24 or 25 Feb 2019 vs Jordan in Jordan
MBO Tall Blacks FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, ROUND ONE
Date | Opponents | Home/Away
- 23 Nov 2017 vs Korea at TSB Bank Arena, Wellington. Tall Blacks lost 80-86
- 26 Nov 2017 vs Hong Kong at Southourn Stadium, Hong Kong. Tall Blacks won 133-74
- 23 Feb 2018 vs China at Dongguan Basketball Centre, China. Tall Blacks won 82-73
- 26 Feb 2018 vs Korea at Jamsil Gymnasium, Seoul, South Korea. Tall Blacks won 93-84
- 28 Jun 2018 vs Hong Kong at Energy Events Centre, Rotorua. Tall Blacks won 124-65
- 1 Jul 2018 vs China vs Spark Arena, Auckland. Tall Blacks won 67-57
• Learn more about the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers (Asia Zone) here.
• Tall Blacks supporters gear can be purchased here.
• Follow the Tall Blacks’ social media channels: @TallBlacks Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Hashtags: #TuKaha #TallBlacks #FIBAWC #ThisIsMyHouse
• Tall Blacks website
• Read about Tu Kaha and the Tall Blacks culture
• The games will be broadcast live by the Host Broadcaster, Maori Television.
Watch the Tu Kaha webisode series on the Tall Blacks here.