The Mika Haka Foundation exists to ignite young minds and transform bodies towards better lives through the performing arts and physical culture.
The Mika Haka Foundation (MHF) is a charitable trust formed to deliver the inclusive vision of successful Maori artist and entertainer, Mika, of an extraordinary future for all young New Zealanders – in particular, young people from diverse backgrounds and minority communities.
Click the headers below to read more about The Foundation
The Mika Haka Foundation invites people of diverse ethnicities, cultures, sexualities and religions, living in Aotearoa/New Zealand, to find pathways towards better health and education opportunities through physical culture and the performing arts.
We aim to provide young people with direction and create an understanding of self-discipline and boundaries. Maori refer to this as Tikanga. This direction helps to empower young people to set goals and take responsibility for their own lives. We promote healthy living and always aim to lead by example.
We want to provide an environment of inspiration, encouraging dreams and the idea that nothing is impossible – to push yourself to new heights, to have no fear of failure and to be in a constant state of learning.
Mika and Mark James Hamilton formed Torotoro in 2000 expressly to create and perform Mika HAKA. This show used haka (intimidatory postural dance) as a base from which to target the popular market in the UK.
Creation of the show began with the recording of a CD in te reo (Mika 2001). The arrangement of these songs was modelled on electronic music then popular in British nightclubs. Mika HAKA premiered in Auckland in February 8th 2000, and its last full performance was the final night of its Edinburgh run in 2003. The eight Maori and Pasifika dancers who performed Mika HAKA in Edinburgh in 2003 were aged between fifteen and twenty-one. They were all graduates of Mika’s own summer school course in contemporary Maori performance (AUT). Their dance in Mika HAKA was a fusion of tu taua (Maori martial practices), kapa haka (Maori group performance), Pacific Island traditional dance and break dance (which is central to New Zealand’s hip-hop culture). Mika HAKA was a staging of a sequence of songs, theatrically aligned both to the concerts of pop celebrities, such as Madonna or Kylie Minogue, and to the cultural performances marketed to tourists in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Mika HAKA was an odd concoction. An urban Polynesian dance show made for Britain by a cross-dresser. Even so, the production found favour with New Zealand governmental and official Maori bodies. The show synthesised the nation’s indigenous and settler cultures differently to expressions of biculturalism ordinarily sanctioned by them.
Our work is guided by five Maori principles:
Whanaungatanga – We are collaborative in nature and believe that we are stronger together.
Manatangata – We take pride in ourselves, our work and our community. We believe that education, employment, combined with cultural, artistic and physical wellbeing will bring personal success.
Wehi – We want to ignite the minds of young people, encouraging them in their passions.
Tapu Takitahi – We believe in the sacred nature of the self. Being a leader to yourself first will allow you to lead others.
Manakitanga – We work together, care for one another, and respect each other.
Our organisation is directed by the following objectives:
- Social Change – We support all native cultures using diverse creative media to communicate visions of social change, beneficial to their own and the wider community.
- Culture – We support, record and promote the dissemination of new thought, through the arts, addressing the question – What is the native culture of Aotearoa | New Zealand?
- Arts – We aim to support, record and promote performing art forms that link with our mission and principles.
- Takataapui – We support, record and promote the takataapui cultural history of Aotearoa, and the dissemination of this information and knowledge to the wider community.
- Education & Youth – We support and promote youth events, activities, projects and discussion promoting native cultures working in unity for the benefit of all.
- Health and Safe Communities – We support and promote a commitment to healthy living and positive life choices amongst native cultures and the wider community. Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand who together with the British Crown formed a unique partnership called the Treaty of Waitangi.
The Treaty of Waitangi provides us with the foundation of Bi-Culturalism. MHF prides itself in being a bi-cultural organisation with a multi-cultural outlook. It is our belief that the whole world benefits by interacting with Maori. Despite internal differences, Aotearoa | New Zealand has not succumbed to terrorism.
▽ Native Culture
Native culture refers to ‘us’ – all the peoples of Aotearoa | New Zealand – all working together, through projects that create unity and integration.
Our native culture projects fulfill the MHF whakatauki (proverb): Kotahitanga ma te rereketanga | Unity through difference
▽ United Nations Standards
As well as recognising the values of our own native culture, MHF operates in accordance with the Human Rights Charter as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
Our vision of ‘one world, many people’ means that our projects are open to all, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, or religious and political beliefs.
Board Of Trustees
The objective of the Mika Haka Foundation trustees is to support and encourage the development and direction of the foundation,
and the discussion of native culture for the benefit of those cultures in Aotearoa | New Zealand and the global community.
MIKA HAKA | Founder
The world is now a global playground. We talk and post daily to anywhere on the planet that has internet. Our young people communicate with like minds, as well as local communities. We act local and are Global. MHF is engaging with other successful Global Foundations and charities to support our success in NZ. We are working with like minded, holistic, sustainable arts, health and entertainment projects that lead New Zealanders forward.
DR. Pare Keiha | Trustee CHair
Pro Vice Chancellor Maori Advancement, Pro Vice Chancellor Learning & Teaching, and Dean of Te Ara Poutama / Faculty of Maori Development, AUT University.
Pare’s career commitment is to Maori advancement, through the mobilisation of cultural capital.
Jane Hunter | Trustee Secretary
Director Hunted Resources Ltd
Jane has extensive achievements in the health and philanthropic sectors, a reasoned and effective problem solver who views all angles of potential challenges and opportunities. She is currently focused on business innovation & connection within health education and the promotion of youth talent development. Jane’s career has allowed her to communicate cross culturally, socially and organisationally.
Jay Tewake | Trustee Secretary
Jay is the youth representative Maori for the trust who actively creates youth projects and events and is team leader of the Kā Life program which includes: Teaching over 10,000 kids a year with free secondary school active programs and free marae holiday programs for kids. Jay has also been an active participant on the Aroha Project around preventing teen bullying and self-harm prevention. Jay has been with the trust since 2014 and has worked for the trust since 2008.
Warwick Choy | Trustee Secretary
Educated at Kings College Warwick brings business acumen to the trusts activities initiating innovative concepts to help grow the Business development model for the young people coming through the trust. He is the proprietor of swift technology (Information Technology and Services) and has been with the trust since 2014.
The purpose of the Mika Haka Foundation Charitable Trust is to support and encourage, in various ways, the development and discussion of, and public interaction with, different aspects of native cultures. Our work is designed for the benefit of the native cultures and the wider community. We address various issues of benefit to native cultures and the wider community. In promoting this general purpose the Trust will, without limitation, also:
- provide support to native cultures by working on projects that aim to bring about social change that is beneficial to themselves and the wider community;
- support, record and promote the dissemination of new thought on ‘What does native culture mean to New Zealand?’ and related issues;
- support, record and promote the Takataapui cultural history of Aotearoa and encourage dissemination of this information and knowledge to the wider community; support, record and promote the ongoing development of all art forms from the perspective of native cultures so that it benefits such native cultures and the wider community;
- support and promote events, activities, projects and discussion amongst the youth that is aimed at promoting native cultures and geared to working in unity for the benefit of the native cultures and the wider community; and
- support and promote, amongst native cultures and the wider community, a commitment to embrace non-smoking, anti- violence, healthy living and positive life choices.
Research & Developing Projects
RESEARCH PROJECTS COMPLETED
PhD on New Māori and Indian Dance, Dr. Mark James Hamilton (University of Canterbury)
Recording the history and principles of Mika’s practice and exchange between native cultures.
Dr. Hamilton’s thesis on Mika’s dance company is online and readable by all. Click here for further reading about Dr. Hamilton’s research.
Ministry of Health
Reducing obesity research results linked to the Kā Life Programme, monitoring the physical activity patterns of over 400 Auckland secondary school students over 18 months, with a focus on Māori and Pacific youth – the results are amazing. Please click here for the Kā Questionnaire Results Summary 2011.
Participation in arts research for youth in Auckland
Ka Mau te Wehi
Māori dance project by Moana Nepia, Unitec – Auckland University of Technology (AUT University)
Making Sense of a Small State
Making Sense of a Small State is a Campus Press 2016 title that is attracting a fair bit of attention. This is a Campus Press Monograph (No 4) that reviews recent literature on identity in New Zealand.
Recent MA and doctoral theses are discussed along with several refereed Journal papers about doubt and reflection on social identity in New Zealand. These include critical reviews of Michael King and other theorists of identity in Aotearoa. Art works by Liam Barr and earlier artists are discussed as well as performance work by Mika and others.
Making Sense stands out as a new direction in studies of ethnicity and identity in Aotearoa-New Zealand and is available from Wheelers and other Library Suppliers.
The AUT Academic Research Project of Mika's work – 'I Have Loved Me A Man'
A book project on Māori performance by Dr. Sharon Mazer (University of Canterbury) tracking Mika’s performance history alongside New Zealand’s social and political developments. This is the first of several books planned on Māori who have made a significant change to how Māori are perceived, especially in relation to sexuality and Tikanga.
Mika Haka | Founder
Lance Loughlin | Executive Officer
Jay Tewake | Youth Advisor/Project Manager
Shaun Dooley | Digital Innovation
Sam McInroe | Diverse Solutions Bookkeeper
LEGAL & FINANCIAL TEAM
David McLaughlin | McLaughlin Law Lawyer
Bridget Fraser | Fearless Accounting Limited Accountant