May 7, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Media charges at Waitangi hyped

2 min read

Update: upon reading more thoroughly we decided to change the headline from “Calls grow to charge non-Maori media at Waitangi” to “Media Charges at Waitangi hyped” – it seems clear that the Marae only wishes to allow local Maori media in for free – all other media will be charged. Last year a koha option was provided but with most outlets choosing to pay only $40 – the Committee felt that this option was being misused. Kia ora! heard from whanau that there are calls to charge Pakeha media $1000 to enter the lower Te Tii Marae at Waitangi on February 6. Although this call has been from some members of Nga Puhi this policy has not been confirmed yet and has been branded racist by Matarahurahu hapu chairman, David Rankin.

However we have seen that the chairman of the Waitangi Marae Maori Committee, Hama (Albie) Apiata, says criticism of a $1000 charge to media outlets on Waitangi Day is ill-informed.

Apiata told ONE News that the fee is applicable to all media outlets, not just pakeha media, bar the local iwi radio station, and helps cover the costs of the day.

“If it’s cost recovery that might be reasonable but charging the media for a fee for covering our national day of celebration in my view seems unreasonable.

But Apiata said no one is talking to Ngapuhi about any issues with the fee and it wasn’t confined to pakeha media.

“The new committee here is just doing what’s happened in years gone by – in fact $2000 was previously recommended.

“We have to put up marquees, feed everyone, clean up the mess afterwards. The money helps with looking after the marae for the community here that has it all year round, not just for one day.

“The marae goes into debt for this and that has to be covered. We are a small village looking after a national marae,” Apiata said.

Last year, a number of media groups paid $500 to enter and report on the day’s festivities at Te Tii Marae, which is across the river from the main Waitangi Treaty grounds. Some rejected the fee demand and negotiated entry by paying a koha of up to $40.

And Apiata says people may choose to do that this year.

“If they don’t give us money for koha, many people give us food to feed all the people,” he said.

Rankin said the ruling to charge again this year has been made by a small group of Ngapuhi – the trustees on the marae – and that even if there are costs to recoup from the day that’s not relevant.

11 thoughts on “Media charges at Waitangi hyped

  1. I have since returned to the city, working with urban Maori on urban based Marae, of which I see the ringawera still in the kitchen working hardout within a modern context. I will never take ringawera for granted again (given my personal experience) and if I am organising hui or waananga on Marae, will go that extra mile to ensure that the hard yards delivered and served by the ringawera of that Marae are acknowledged at mulitple levels…including monetary! This is what I believe is reciprocal Manaakitanga..the giving back to those who have given unselfishly to me. This I believe stems off our highest value…aroha and Wairua. This has nothing to do with Marae politics or government politics, but stems from a universal human value of aroha (unselfish love). It is a humble way of saying…I see you, and I value what you have given to me during my stay with you and I thank you.

    These are my thoughts, thank you for allowing opportunity to reflect on my experiences and being able to share my observations.

    Mauri Ora!

  2. Discussion was had from amidst the core ringawera about being paid a monetary valued koha from our komiti to cover costs of living for ringawera who served fulltime on Marae. It was a very interesting discussion, because it brought to the table a cross cultural clash of values between traditional forms of manaakitanga and the need to sustain oneself and their whanau in our modern globalised world.

    It is hard for our people to strike a balance between the two worlds in which we live and the complexities that arise within Marae maybe difficult to understand by those who stand on the outside. It becomes an even more complex issue when those standing on the outside are not just Maori, but consist of many other ethnic and cultural observers.

    But Manaakitanga, Kohatanga were not the only values that were intristic with our traditional way of living. So was the value of whanaungatanga, Wairuatanga and aroha (and many more). These values of course I saw everyday in the eyes and hearts of the ringawera that served on the Marae's and will never be forgotten nor undervalued.

  3. Yes! the ringawera worked hardout! hunting, fishing, weaving, cooking, gardening, painting the wharenui and wharekai, stacking wood to heat the furnace for water, taking care of the urupa, doing the washing and showing excellence in hospitality to manuhiri who arrived. After waananga or hui was finished we would go back to our own whare and scramble sometimes to pay the power, the phone (if we were lucky to have a phone on), buy clothing for the children. Luxourious living was very rarely seen amoungst fulltime ringawera on rural Marae. Sometimes, members in our hapu, who were doing alot of the hard mahi, would become discouraged because of the monetary poverty experienced and sometimes the lack of appreciation for mahi done by others and sometimes the feeling of being taken for granted by those within our hapu, who were not at Marae serving due to their committements (secular, or other).

  4. Some of the issues that came up for my hapu, whom the majority were the ringawera, was how does the worker continue to sustain him/herself and their whanau, when in service at the Marae. Given that the koha given by ringawera is personal and physical energy, which also encompasses personal time. Many of our ringawera did not or in my case could not seek secular employment, because time required on the Marae was fulltime and working a 9 – 5 meant not being availiable to be ringawera at the Marae. For those of our whanau who did secular work, they could only do mahi on Marae around their secular hours of employment, which meant Marae were dependant on ringawera who did not hold secular jobs.

  5. Nga mihi nui kia koutou katoa!

    I have read this thread with much interest…triggering recent memories of my service to my Marae @ Oeo, Taranaki and Parihaka Pa, Taranaki. Firstly, I must acknowledge that my return home to Marae from the urban, was in part, a part of my process in answering the forever internal question; Ko wai au? (Who really am I)
    I returned with my 14 year old daughter (2004)and was awakened to many a rural Maori process/tikanga/value treasured by our tuupuna including the value of manaakitanga (hospitality at its most excellence) and koha (be it monetary, kai or personal energy), particularly did I become aware of the koha and manaaki given by the ringawera of our Marae, in fact all Marae, that I served with.

    Sometimes, we would be hosting manuhiri for a week and sometimes consecutive weeks in a row. In between, there would be mahi for komiti, sustainability project hui's for Marae etc. Treaty land court appearances (I was an obeserver of this process), Visiting Kaumatua/Kuia, Occupations against raupatu etc.

  6. Kia Ora,

    Everyones views are important. IIt helps us gain a broader understanding of what the korero is out there. It is sad to hear people in opposition to those working on the marae voluntary. This small waitangi marae maui committee have been working very very hard for their marae. the past agendas and koha paperwork has DISAPPEARED so has the LAPTOP with all this information… the new committee have started NEW BOOKS and have a new policy so things are DONE IN ALL HONESTY. there is a lady in waitangi in the NAME OF MEREHORA and co. that are sabbotaging everything that this new committee are trying to put in place. This committee are GOOD PEOPLE this committee are thinking of their marae … reason why you havent heard anything from the PAST is BECAUSE THEY WERE SCHEMING THE NATION, GOVERNMENT… INVESTIGATE THIS MATTER FURTHER WITHOUT PERSECUTING THE INNOCENT AND HARD WORKING.SUPPORT THE WAITANGI MARAE. to BRING US TOGETHER MAORI AND PAKEHA,LIKE THE INiTIAL INTENTION OF THE TREATY. I AM SAD THAT PEOPLE ARE AGAINST MY FATHER BUT THE FACT IS HE IS TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT . MY FATHER IS proud, just and fair MAN. HE PUTS SYSTEMS IN PLACE TO BENEFIT US ALL HE IS SO BUSY WITH THIS COMMITTEE I DONT HEAR MUCH FROM HIM. BUT I HEAR FROM MUM. HE IS WORKING TO PUT GOOD THINGS IN PLACE AND PEOPLE ARE SABBOTAGiNG THIS WORk! what would you do?

  7. Te Kaharoa says it all. The people working the Marae are VOLUNTEERS as on ALL marae, so the money does not go to them. Much of the kaimoana provided on the day is fished by the local Maori, and alot of other food is "gifted".

    I agree wholeheartedly with Te Kaharoa…charge everyone, NOT just the Media if there must be a charge.

  8. Kia ora for your comments Te Kaharoa and for discussing the kaupapa of the Poukai and koha.

    Thank you also Ititahi for your korero from the view from behind the scenes. You are right that the event builds toward Waitangi Day and then takes some time to clean up.

    Both whakaaro raise the issue of koha, which is very interesting in these tight times, especially as the rate of hui increases. However, as Waitangi Day is scheduled and multitudes do arrive, perhaps it is a good idea for other hapu, iwi to offer support or even perhaps ask the people themselves? Alll the same, a great day and an exceptional weekend and we send our aroha to all. Mauri ora.

  9. Don’t be too quick to judge if you haven’t had an apron on!

    I am Ngapuhi/Ngatihine and I have observed if not attended Waitangi day celebrations for most of my 50 years – and so I have seen first hand the hau kainga feed the multitudes that come to Waitangi every year. And let me say it is not just a one day thing it actually takes about a good week to host and clean up after the manuhiri have gone. This year the floods made the availability of kai near impossible and so $ had to be found to feed the people. Let me ask do many hapu or iwi locally or nationally for that matter offer a koha just to support the kaupapa?? probably NOT! I also understand koha is given and not asked for! in the day I remember whanau would bring kai from gardens, meat from farms etc etc to help feed the people – again as Ive watched people come to Waitangi over the years I cant recall seeing many people do this – so while I don’t support asking for certain ones to pay i.e. media I do think its about time we all get real both Maori and non Maori because hey year in and year out the hosts at Waitangi have not moaned, groaned or asked for much at all and every time they have delivered – Tikanga is simple – bring something to help out and not leave the burden to just one group – so I hope everyone will not be so quick to judge but rather ask themselves what have I given to help the home people at Waitangi to feed the people since IVE been going?? If you can say Ive given koha then encourage other to give too – If you cant say anything then I would think your judgements should start with a good hard look in the mirror!!

    Don’t be too quick to judge if you haven’t had an apron on!

  10. If they're worried about covering costs for providing people with meals and such, why don't they just ask those certain groups to offer koha. I don't see why the media has to bear the brunt. Anyway, the people who do the clean up and set up are volunteers, they don't get paid so I really don't see what the money is going towards besides the marae?? When Tainui have their poukai, each person pays a koha of at least $5 for the kai hakari etc.. it may be small, but when coming form a lot of ppl it goes a long way and does more than cover the costs. I think this would be better than singling out a few, making them pay for everything and everyone else getting by on a free ride. Plus it does not look racist and is fair on everyone. It's a shame that Maori t.v will not be covering the event because of this. Nga Puhi have a lot to learn.

  11. De Bres: Marae entry charge 'ill-advised'

    A Maori leader has branded members of his own iwi racist and "crazed dogs" for demanding media companies pay to enter a Waitangi marae on New Zealand's national day.

    Ngapuhi iwi members are threatening to charge Pakeha media $1000 to enter the lower Te Tii Marae at Waitangi on February 6.

    Matarahurahu hapu chairman David Rankin said Maori media would be allowed in free.

    Mr Rankin said that demand was akin to the separatist policies of apartheid South Africa.

    It came from a "self-appointed" group of radical iwi members who were not recognised as trustees of the marae by the Maori Land Court , he said.

    "It is absolutely like South Africa. This is all about separatism. It is about splitting people apart. Marae are about bringing people together, not splitting them apart.

    "I expect Joris De Bres… to make a stand on this issue. This is cultural apartheid, and we can't allow it."

    Race Relations Commissioner Mr de Bres said the decision to charge for access to Te Tii Marae did not help race relations.

    But it was unlikely to be unlawful as the marae is not subject to the discrimination provisions set out in the Human Rights Act, he said.

    Those provisions apply to public spaces and selected areas such as education, employment and housing.

    "I consider the practice to be ill-advised and not conducive to harmonious race relations. Generally speaking, the media should be facilitated in their coverage of important Waitangi Day events and discussions while being challenged to do so professionally and in a balanced manner."

    Prime Minister John Key this morning said he wanted to know what the fee was for.

    "If it's cost recovery that might be reasonable but charging the media for a fee for covering our national day of celebration in my view seems unreasonable.

    "I think we need to find out exactly what the fee is being paid for. I guess we'll make some inquiries. Whether we get straight answers is a completely different issue. I mean it's fundamentally not public space, but I think it's really the message that it sends."

    The move felt "like it's a money making exercise".

    Some public funding went to the marae, but Mr Key did not know how much.

    "It's happened before, it's not new, but it is, as I say, very disappointing. I mean we want the media to be able to cover the celebrations at the lower marae, because we want New Zealanders to be able to see and understand and enjoy the significance of Waitangi Day."

    But TVNZ head of news and current affairs Anthony Flannery said his company had paid a $1000 koha to Te Tii Marae officials for many years.

    It is a reasonable price for the convenience of being able to safely station a live-eye truck and expensive electronic equipment at a powered site close to the grounds, he said.

    "We believe the $1000 fee is entirely fair and are grateful for the ongoing access we are given and convenience we are extended as a result of this long standing arrangement."

    Mr Rankin said many of the group issuing the demand were radicals and did not speak for the more conservative iwi majority.

    Levelling the charge against Pakeha media went against Maori culture of hospitality and increases division at a time when Ngaphui's treaty claims were about to be settled, he said.

    "This is a radical faction that's raised its ugly head up. When you get a radical faction they become like crazed dogs. How do you control them?

    "These self-appointed bullies are doing great harm to our people. With one hand they have a closed fist, with the other they have a beggar's palm.

    "I speak on behalf of the part of Ngapuhi who feels embarrassed by what they're doing. They're living in the 70s, 80s and 90s when radicalism was cool. Now capitalism is cool. The only way we're going to achieve rangitiratanga is by investing."

    Mr Rankin said he was planning to issue notification to all Pakeha media guaranteeing free access to the Te Tii Marae the day before Waitangi Day.

    He advised any media that did pay the $1000 charge to enter the marae to get a receipt and said he planned to notify Government agencies such as WINZ about any income gained on the day.

    Disciplinary action could be taken against those trying to charge media to enter the marae, he said.

    "Last year this was tried on a smaller scale, and no record has been left of where the money went to. This is not a koha, it is deemed as income because it is demanded from people. It goes completely against our culture of hospitality to visitors, regardless of where they are from."

    – With NZPA

    By Hayden Donnell

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