IT WAS intended as a cheeky charity stunt but a topless haka performed by a British women's rugby team has been criticised as offensive by Maori in New Zealand.
The team, from Canterbury, Kent, were smeared with mud and wearing only shorts when they were photographed leaping into the air in a parody of the Maori war dance, made famous by New Zealand's rugby team, the All Blacks.
The picture appears in a 2007 calendar intended to raise money for breast cancer research.
The women preserved their modesty with one arm covering their breasts.
"It looks like misuse of the haka to me,'' said Dr Poia Rewi, of the School of Maori Studies at Otago University.
Daily Telegraph (London, England) (Jan 9, 2007): p016.