I have to admit to being embarrassed by this $1000 “koha” being asked of media outlets to attend the celebrations on the lower marae at Waitangi.
1. It’s not tikanga Maori (Maori custom) to either ASK for a koha or exclude anyone from a marae. In my last blog I was defending Maori tikanga that was broken by a group of pakeha. Now we have a group of Maori who are breaking Maori tikanga themselves. When we (Maori) trample on our own customs, then it’s a bit rich to expect non-Maori to adhere to them. We create create confusion and double standards. It’s called hypocrisy. It makes it bloody hard as a Maori politician to go out and defend the “Maori way”, when the Maori way these days chops and changes.
The base word of “tikanga” is “tika” meaning “correct” or “right”. Maori should be doing the correct or right thing. In this case they aren’t and in my mind are breaking tikanga and deserve condemnation. Their actions unfortunately reflect on all Maori, and I’m embarrassed. They will find every reason to justify their ‘koha’ charge, but there is only one reason why they shouldn’t charge it – it’s wrong.
If I was the media, I would boycott the lower marae celebrations and focus on all the positive festivities that are happening around Waitangi.
2. Waitangi Day is a day for all New Zealanders to share. Media outlets allow many Maori and non-Maori who would like to be at Waitangi, but can’t be there, to share in the day. Many New Zealanders are already alienated from Waitangi Day, this sort of un-Maori behaviour simply drives people further away.
In my blog ‘Denis responds’ Denis said, “But we must learn to understand and respect each other better and also to live together in harmony.” These people asking for the ‘koha’ make it damn hard for non-Maori to understand and respect Maori and for us all to live in harmony.
Maybe they aren’t interested in harmony.