A Japanese television commercial featuring pop diva Namie Amuro and a group of men performing an indigenous Maori dance has drawn criticism in New Zealand, the Australian Associated Press reported Monday.
The ad for Coke Zero involves a dance between Amuro and a group of actors dressed in rugby jerseys apparently doing the ceremonial ''Ka Mate Haka'' dance.
Te Ariki Wi Neera, a spokesman for the Ngati Toa tribe, the traditional custodians of the Ka Mate Haka, said the ad ''sounds like crap.''
Te Ariki Wi Neera earlier told the New Zealand Herald that the advertising agency had contacted the New Zealand Embassy in Japan to inquire about using the Ka Mate Haka.
''We told them if they wanted to use Ka Mate they needed to talk to us first,'' the Herald reported him as saying. ''They declined to engage when they saw we were serious about protecting it.''
The Ngati Toa is responsible for preventing the misappropriation and culturally inappropriate use of the indigenous dance.
The Ka Mate Haka is the most well-known due to the New Zealand All Blacks performing the dance ahead of rugby games.
The dance was formerly used ahead of battle, with the fierce postures and powerful lyrics thought to mentally and physically prepare the tribe for war.
According to the Herald, officials from both New Zealand Rugby Union and Coca-Cola Amatil will be making inquiries into the commercial this week.