Haka coin captures the moment
It's a moment which sends heart rates racing, and can bring tears of pride to the eyes of even the manliest of men. A rallying cry - in defiance of death itself - which rears up over the deafening cacophony of a screaming stadium full of fans - then drowns all else out as it rises to its crescendo.
"KA MATE, KA MATE, KA ORA, KA ORA !"
The moment when the All Blacks launch into the haka is one of the truest manifestations of what it means to be a New Zealander. A small but determined group of people - brave, defiant, and committed to giving their all irrespective of what threats lie ahead.
Do or die people from a do or die country.
New Zealand Post's Sales and Marketing Manager for the coins business, Simon Allison, says it didn't take long to arrive at the realisation that this iconic moment - the All Blacks haka - was an appropriate theme for what will be only the second ever official All Blacks coin release.
"The first time out, in 2010, we went with the silver fern which still feels like a perfect fit. But if anything the haka is an even more visceral emblem of our national sport, our national character and our national team," Mr Allison said.
"For 106 years our boys, our All Blacks, have faced down fierce opposition around the globe with the haka as their symbol of defiance, and as a proud declaration to the world of our unique Maori heritage.
The new 1-ounce pure silver coin portrays the All Blacks performing Te Rauparaha’s now famous ‘Ka Mate’ haka - a performance for which they are renowned all over the world. The uniforms of the front three rugby players are black, with the team’s fern emblem emblazoned on their jersey and shorts. The second row of players is beautifully engraved in fine silver.
"I know there will be advocates for other forms of the haka, but the 'Ka Mate' haka of Te Rauparaha remains to many as the definitive version - as performed by some of the great All Blacks in the days when many folks remember being woken by their dads in the early hours of the morning with a cup of cocoa and black and white "Live Via Satellite" coverage on the only TV channel.
The 2011 All Blacks coin: the haka is being produced in a strictly limited edition of 3,000 worldwide - each coming with a numbered certificate of authenticity. It has a legal tender face value of $1, but even setting aside its artistic merits the solid silver coin is worth $139.
The 2011 All Blacks coin: the haka is available from 31 August 2011 through selected New Zealand PostShop stores, at REAL Aotearoa stores in Auckland and Wellington, online at www.nzpost.co.nz/coins, or by phoning 0800 NZ COINS (692 6467).
Caption: Image above right, Tiki Edwards, Maori Development Manager for the NZRU, showcases the new Haka coin.
New Zealand Post is authorised by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand as the only official issuer of legal tender New Zealand commemorative coins.
The 2011 All Blacks coin: the haka has been developed under an exclusive licensing agreement with the New Zealand Rugby Union.
Fittingly, New Zealand Post presented the Number 1 Haka coin to Ngati Toa, and the Number 2011 Haka coin to the New Zealand Rugby Union.