Three Māori actors who play members of Home and Away's Parata family have performed a spine-tingling haka that's captured the hearts of viewers around the world.
Rob Kipa-Williams, who plays Ari Parata, led an emotional haka alongside Tane (Ethan Browne) and their nephew Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo) on the beach to mark the death of their brother and father Mikaere one year ago.
In the show, cop Colby Thorne (Tim Franklin) stops the family from returning home to New Zealand with Mikaere's wife Gemma (Bree Peters).
The haka was written by Kiwi filmmaker Tainui Stephens especially for Home and Away.
The actors' haka didn't go unnoticed - hundreds of Kiwis and Australians said the performance inspired them.
Photo / TVNZ
"Even my 4-year-old son stopped what he was doing and watched when they started doing the haka. It gave me goosebumps. So proud to be a Kiwi," one said.
Another added: "So good, the whole storyline with this whānau has integrated aspects of Māori culture beautifully."
An Australian chimed in, writing: "As an Aussie this was so good to watch very powerful and obviously had a great meaning behind it."
"I couldn't believe my eyes seeing this on Home and Away tonight. It totally blew me away. It took the wind out of me and made my eyes leak. Thank you for integrating this into the show. So proud," another Kiwi said.
Photo / TVNZ
While the performance was well received around the world, Kipa-Williams revealed the haka hit home because of the loss of a family member in real life.
Kipa-Williams said he was unable to return home to New Zealand a few weeks ago after his aunt died.
He explained the episode was emotional and dedicated it to her.
The Parata family was introduced into the storyline this year after arriving in Summer Bay looking for a fresh start.
Wellington-born Kawakawa Fox-Reo, who plays youngest family member Nikau, hopes he and the other Kiwi cast members will bring something new to the show.
"They can expect a familiar sense of humour unique to New Zealand, and to see a tight-knit family that faces their problems head on," he told the Herald.
They can also look forward to seeing authentic Māori representation on the show, he says.
This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.