David Rankin and I probably disagree about many things but we are certainly singing from the same songsheet when he labels Kingi Taurau and his bunch of no-hopers that run the Ti Ti Marae (the lower Marae at Waitangi) 'Village Idiots' over their decision to charge media $1,000 per outlet for the 'privilege' of covering events at the Marae.
Taurau insults Maori protocol; he insults me as Ngati Taumatauenga and my own Marae, Rongomaraeroa o Nga Hau e Wha, at Waiouru.
Koha is freely given by visitors as a mark of love and respect. This is not koha ... it's a charge and as such is subject to GST. And Taurau's reaction to Rankin's demand to see the books is to bare his buttocks (metaphorically speaking).
Rankin is right. The IRD should do a compulsory audit of the Marae's books. It would be interesting to see just how much of the various 'koha' gathered over the years has gone missing.
Village Idiots is a very good descriptive.
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