Air NZ staff perform farewell haka for All Blacks as they leave for Japan

scandal 09/09/2019

Air New Zealand staff have given the All Blacks the perfect send-off for the Rugby World Cup by performing a haka on the tarmac of Auckland Airport.

On Monday, the All Blacks departed for Japan as they prepare to win the World Cup for the third consecutive time.

Around 60 Air New Zealand employees performed company's haka, Te Mangapare, followed by Ka Mate for All Blacks players Aaron Smith and Rieko Ioane, as well as mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka.

"This week, of course, marks the beginning of Māori Language Week, but this year is also the 20th anniversary of the first time the New Zealand national anthem was sung in te reo on the global stage," Air New Zealand cultural development manager Henare Johnson said.

"This paved the way for New Zealand to embrace a bilingual anthem.

"As the airline that's crazy about rugby we were thrilled to be able to give the All Blacks, as ambassadors of our language, our country, and our people, a very special farewell ahead of their next big challenge in Japan. Kia kaha te Kapa ō Pango."

The All Blacks departed on time despite corners of Typhoon Faxai hammering parts of Japan, which has led to trains and flights in Tokyo being cancelled.

SOURCE: Newshub's Ben Francis.