A Belgian DJ has apologised after footage of a “derogatory” act celebrating Team New Zealand’s victory in the America’s Cup went viral on social media.
The Kiwi team defended their title on Wednesday when a dominant 46-second victory capped off their 7-3 series win over Italian outfit Luna Rossa.
But celebrations on a private yacht – which you can watch in the video above – left backers and politicians disappointed.
DJ Netsky, real name Boris Daenan, shared footage of multiple people pulling a pukana face – poking their tongues out – and mocking the haka.
The incident took place in a corner as several others continued partying on the luxury yacht to celebrate the America’s Cup win.
The footage was shared from Netsky’s Instagram account to social media, sparking outrage in the New Zealand community.
Nick Mowbray, the businessman who owned the boat, said he was “obviously really disappointed”.
“It’s the complete opposite of what I stand for and what Zuru (his company) stands for,” Mowbray told the NZ Herald.
“I can’t speak on behalf of the people who were involved, but I always encourage anyone who is called out for this type of unacceptable behaviour to take ownership, apologise and learn from their mistake.”
Netsky, who had recently flown into New Zealand to perform at a musical festival, addressed the footage on Thursday.
“I’m embarrassed and ashamed of myself,” he wrote.
“I obviously have a lot to learn. I need to educate myself in issues of cultural appropriation and I am committed to doing this. I apologise to everyone I’ve offended.”
Maori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said there would be locals willing to teach Netsky and the other people in the video how to celebrate the culture “if that’s what they were trying to do”.
“It’s a disrespect of the hard work that has been going on to make this unique Aotearoa event,” Ngarewa-Packer said.
“Sadly I think it shows the ignorance of those who haven’t taken on board or respected the way that Maori culture and New Zealand as a whole has wrapped around this event.
“It’s 2021 and people expect a better degree of behaviour than appropriating a culture in a derogatory way.”
Team New Zealand’s win – their fourth, after winning in 1995, 2000 and 2017, had been celebrated by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
“We want to see it all over again in 2023. The government has already agreed that the successful America’s Cup team will be supported to stay together while it plans its next defence of the Auld Mug,” Ardern said in a statement.
TNZ helmsman Peter Burling said they were “blown away” by the “unreal” reaction to their achievement.
“Seeing all the people involved over three-four years, how many Kiwis out here supporting the campaign – messages from everyone, from the Prime Minister to high school kids, it means the world to us,” he said.
– with AAP