The importance of rugby in New Zealand

Credits: Paul Townsend - Flickr

Have you ever wondered why rugby is so popular in New Zealand, despite being invented in England? As a defining point within Kiwi culture, rugby plays a huge part within New Zealand's society and culture.

Despite only having a population of around 4.4 million, New Zealand teams are often among the best in the world.

Since it was brought over by English settlers in 1870, the sport has become ingrained in both settler and indigenous Maori populations and the national team is famous for its rendition of the 'Haka', a traditional Maori war chant.

Accustomed to a rural life of hard work, they were perfectly suited to the game of rugby. The role of rugby may have also played a role in reconciling issues between the Maori people and the English settlers who colonised the island.

The team are regarded as heroes, and are a source of pride and unification for the whole nation - Maori and European descendants alike.

Interested in knowing more about the 'Haka'? Read our blog post here.

By Edward Le Boutillier

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