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People Are Upset With Miss World NZ For Performing A Traditional War Dance

Deborah Lambie’s Facebook has been inundated with complaints for being a woman and performing the haka.

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Miss World New Zealand contestant Deborah Lambie has been heavily criticised after uploading a video of herself performing a haka on her Facebook.

The model and newly qualified doctor was performing the traditional war dance at a Miss World competition in China last week.

Lambie told BuzzFeed News she learned the process of performing the haka over four months, being trained by Kereama Te Ua who is a lecturer in Maori Performing Arts at Whitirea College in Wellington.

The video has been shared from her Facebook hundreds of times and in the process has racked up plenty of comments - both positive and negative

ok miss nz is levels being a young gorgeous doctor, but don't ever perform the haka like that pls .. team too sure 😂

Many were upset she chose to perform a haka at all, saying it was insensitive and "embarrassing," while some New Zealanders criticised her pronunciation and movement.

There were also a few people who criticised Lambie for being a woman and performing the haka, despite the fact it was women who traditionally first did the haka in New Zealand.

Can't believe people are slamming the Miss World NZ contestant for doing a haka because she's female. The first hakas were done by females?

Miss nz world's perform wasn't bad because she wasn't Maori or a female performing a haka it was just a bad performance full stop

"People are entitled to their own opinions," said Lambie in response to the comments. "I did my best job on the day, learned from an expert and am proud of the performance."

Lambie also said the haka was really well received in China. "Over here, people love New Zealand and loved the performance... it really stood out and people are very interested to learn more about us!"

In November, Lambie uploaded a video of her teacher, Kereama Te Ua, explaining the symbolism of the haka.

"I first had a look at her personality and her approach to Maori culture," he said. "Deb was very open and very respectful of our practices and our culture, so it made it really easy for me to open my heart and my culture to her."

"I took her right into the traditional depths of Maori performing arts... I have trained her in the traditional art form of haka. The haka was first performed by women, so it's only right she is using the haka as a New Zealander and as a representation of our collective history of Maori and Pakeha working together and being able to showcase that to the world. It's been an absolute privilege and honour to work with this lady. I'm really, really proud of her work."

"She holds herself with mana, she's respectful of our culture and she's still open and willing to learn," he said.

Lambie ended up placing 15th in the competition, with Spain taking home the top prize.