Timberlake’s Maori Welcome

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE has handed a Maori music group free tickets to watch him perform in New Zealand, after they welcomed him to the country.

Timberlake and his girlfriend Jessica Biel watched a performance by the Tira Hoe Waka group in Auckland – and was “blown away” by the Powhiri (traditional Maori welcome) they extended to him.

Following Maori tradition, Timberlake then sang a song of his choice – You Are My Sunshine – before thanking the group and offering them 50 free tickets to his show in Auckland on Saturday (24Nov07).

Kylie Poihipi, part of the welcoming party, says, “Justin wanted to see the ‘Ka Mate Ka Mate’ haka, so we incorporated that into the welcome.

“He was scared as I ushered him towards the kapa haka group. After we made our traditional speech of welcome Justin responded. He said ‘kia ora’ a couple of times, and said he was really amazed by the performance, and humbled by the experience.

“We insisted he sing a song – as tradition expects us to do – and he started singing, You Are My Sunshine. He sang it alone for three lines before his crew joined in.

“Jessica was awesome and we loved showing them how us Maori roll in Aotearoa.”



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