Stuff is reporting that Te Tii Marae will charge non-Maori media a $1000 entry fee. Surely this is not tikanga Maori.
I agree with David Rankin;
Ngapuhi leader David Rankin today said the decision by "the village idiot and his uneducated disciples" was racist and shameful.
"These self-appointed bullies are doing great harm to our people," he said.
"Many of our people outside of Northland will be depending on the nightly news for information about Waitangi Day, and this small, unelected group are threatening to ban media coverage for the sake of their own personal greed."
He said the fee amounted to "cultural apartheid" and he would be advising all media that the marae was open and free of charge this Waitangi Day.
Never do I accuse Maori of discrimination but this is racist. It’s downright reverse racism. I have no problems with Te Tii Marae demanding a koha, that is to be expected, but a compulsory entry fee of $1000 amounts to extortion. Maori are better than this.
UPDATE: It appears the entry fee applies to all media, Maori media included, only the local iwi radio station is exempt. Therefore, I retract my ‘racist’ comments, however I still think an entry fee is wrong. The Marae chairman has made the point that;
“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,”
With this in mind the entry fee seems justified but I was under the impression that the Marae receives financial help from the government on Waitangi Day.