Maori Welcomes for Foreign Dignitaries? [POLL]

The media are still trying to hang a Danish politician for offering her opinion.

The Danish politician who controversially called powhiri “uncivilised” and “grotesque” knew exactly what she was going to see – but may not have read the briefing documents given to her.

Denmark’s ambassador to New Zealand, Borge Petersen, was with Marie Krarup – a member of the far-right Danish People’s Party – when she was welcomed on to the navy’s Te Taua Moana Marae last month.

Ms Krarup was in the country as part of a defence delegation. 

After she left she blasted the traditional Maori welcome in an opinion piece in the Berlingske Tidende, a Copenhagen newspaper, in which she wrote that the welcome was less than “civilised”.

She decried the wero or challenge; being welcomed by a “half-naked” man “shouting and screaming in Maori”; and being forced to hongi.

She likened a waiata to a Danish song about a ladybird. The “Maori temple” complete with deities, and large penises, also didn’t pass muster.

Has New Zealand come to the point where there is only one valid opinion, set by others, and we have to attack anyone who differs?

Have your say.

What is your opinion of the Maori Welcome given to foreign dignitaries?

View Results

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  • Agent BallSack

    Compare our welcome with the Hawaiian welcome of Leis and Ukeleles. Which country would you rather be welcomed into? Every time I see a “challenge” laid down like that I want to pull out a musket and off them. Perhaps its just me.

    • Mr_Blobby

      I thought that was the custom. Off with the challengers head and walk over the body.

    • Morrissey

      So you’ll be opposed to all military parades then?

  • Justsayn

    Clearly she didn’t understand the average penis size in New Zealand. Might have been a shock. but it is what it is. As they say, she might need to get over it, harden up, swallow her pride, and do as the Romans do.

    • Joe_Bloggs

      why the fuck should you get over it, harden up, swallow your pride, and embrace Sharia Law if you pass through an Islamic country?

      Or get over it, harden up, swallow your pride, and embrace rape if you travel through India on a bus?

      Do you support whaling if you go to Japan? Or Norway?

      Similar principles as here.

      You shouldn’t be obliged to appreciate or to fawn over a particular aspect of a society that you visit simply because it’s relevant to a small number of people in that society.

      • Justsayn

        I cannot imagine anything better that munching a whale burger while nervously sitting in a Mumbai bus looking out the window at a lady in full burqa collecting stones from the riverbed. Ahhhhh… the serenity.

  • Bold Cotton

    “Ms Krarup was in the country as part of a defence delegation.”
    Is this not the same country that John Key mentioned last year for not pulling it’s weight on our flank in Afghanistan and would not go out in the dark.Maybe they have a problem with our maori soldiers being better than there part time soldiers.

  • Dave

    What about a Chinese welcome, perhaps a German one from mr DotCon. Then i must ask, which maori welcome, the dancing shaking one with their tongue wagging, or the Maori one where they demand all your money, valuables and the keys to your vehicle?

    No to a MAori welcome, perhaps a Maori Wahine with a Pohutakawa flower as a gift with a maori warrior in the background.

  • PlanetOrphan

    Sounds like she’s trying to put Danes off immigrating.

  • richard.b

    On breakfast today she said “People can only view these things through their own eyes” (or something like that.)
    It is her opinion, and she has every right to voice it.
    When we all have overseas travel, there is sometimes something that we don’t enjoy.
    You come home and tell your friends “Don’t go there, they are a pack of wankers”

  • spollyike

    I thought that in the 1800’s our British ancestors arrived and said: “Hey maoris wake up it’s the 19th century in the rest of the world, get busy, you’ve got some catching up to do!” Looks like thanks to all the revisionist bullshit we’ve now got to tell them all over again…

  • I don’t understand what’s wrong with what she said. It is uncivilised to wave spears at visitors.

    • Agent BallSack

      In any other country poking your tongue and baring your buttocks while threatening guests would be ridiculed. Not in good old Enzud. Perhaps they are simply warning her what to expect if she camps in Northland.

  • Gazzaw

    My wife’s observation is that she wouldn’t mind too much if the ‘warriors’ were young and goodlooking but invariably they are unfit, fat-gutted, bare-arsed slobs.

    • Mr_Blobby

      “wouldn’t mind too much if the ‘warriors’ were young and goodlooking” how about good looking and female.

      • spollyike

        As long as we ask the Danish women to do the welcome, they are much hotter than the tribal women that we have!

      • Phil

        A good looking Maori female?? Bahahaha – no such thing!

        • Au Contraire….there are some absolute stunning Wahines about…usually half caste. That moko on the chin can be damn sexy…

          • Phil

            Really? I’ve never seen an attractive one. In fact most wouldn’t look out of place pulling a plough.

          • Morrissey

            Look out fellas, it’s a racist.

    • Tom

      You just described Tama Iti….

  • Lion_ess

    I see Marie Krarup also supports legalizing female circumcision in Denmark and is now blaming a mis-translation on Radio Live for the “misunderstanding”.
    Astounded to see the number of commenters on this topic revert to type as foaming-at-the-mouth, racist ranters, because some clueless cunt’s comments have somehow provided a licence.
    I agree with Keeping Stock – who liken’s her comments to those of NZ First politicians and suggests that next time the Danes send a delegation to New Zealand, they don’t include Marie Krarup.
    http://keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz/2013/04/dear-denmark.html

  • 4077th

    She should count herself lucky she did not get the same welcomes at the Queen, Don Brash and JK a couple of years ago.

  • bobby

    Remember she’s also from a far-right political party which has stated goals of reducing immigration and forcing cultural assimilation of migrants – in fierce defence of Danish culture.

    It sounds like she should be a supporter of the way Maori culture and customs are maintained in NZ. Since she seemed to take the complete opposite view perhaps it’s safe to assume she’s simply racist.

  • Phil

    There is a reason the rest of the world moved on from the Stone Age.

    • Mr_Blobby

      The Green Taliban would say it was not a good reason.

  • Very few visitors to NZ want to see any maori stuff, which you would find out if you started asking around.
    I think this Dane-ette is right on the money and we should do away with forcing visitors to endure this maori nonsense.

  • Marcus50

    It is interesting that Maori are instantly offended if people trample on their sensitivities and yet they have little interest in whether their actions may themselves be offensive to other cultures. Increasingly Maori welcomes are being performed by overweight men in G strings that fully expose their buttocks . Now that might be fine for some but I can fully understand how a foreign politician, especially a female politician may find it offensive.

  • Jman

    The maori powhiri is a particularly unfriendly “welcome” – having a half-naked man yelling and waving a stick at you is hardly welcoming. I also find the hongi revolting. So yeah I can see exactly where this chick is coming from.

  • out2lunch

    Funny how stuff.co.nz shut down their comments section, after overwhelming support and agreement for this lady!

    • spollyike

      The politically correct don’t believe in freedom of speech.

  • tarkwin

    Now days it seems like these welcomes happen for any occasion. The performers must get paid well – they clearly aren’t starving. I remember when the haka was reserved for great cultural occasions like test matches, now days they have one for anything and these welcomes are rapidly travelling down the same road to stone age irrelevance.

  • OneTrack

    So, what is the message to any visitors to NZ. You MUST love maori culture and everything about it and if you don’t we will ring you up and abuse you on breakfast television for being “uneducated” and “racist”.

    Yeah well done kiwis, real friendly. Wonder what will be in Ms Krarups next article? I know what she will be telling her friends though.

    Talk about a cultural cringe.

  • Brian of Mt Wellington

    She is entitled to her opinion whether everyone agrees with it or not. If she found it offensive, then it was to her and no one should say any different even if she was briefed or not. These kind of so called welcomes are becoming too frequent that it must be annoying to some because they can drag on and you can see it in some peoples faces saying ” When will this finish”. Surely if these things have to be done for appeasment then finishing it after a few minutes should suffice not 20 mins like some of them.

  • The Haircutter

    I agree with her. It’s probably the least welcoming “welcome”, outside Taliban controlled territories.

  • thor42

    Agent Ballsack has it right when he compares our “welcome” to the Hawaiian one (with leis and ukeleles).

    Hell, what a difference!

    I find the Maori warrior part of the “welcome” to be over-the-top PC *bullshit*. Why the heck do we have to throw the whole kit and caboodle of Maori culture at visitors here? It’s bloody ridiculous. There should be only a Maori women’s singing group or no Maori content at all.

  • Dion

    You know you’ve fallen afoul of a journalist’s world view when you’re described as “far right”.

  • Tracey

    Marie Krarup only proved how ignorant and unworldly she is.Has she never travelled to another country?Has she not watched documentaries about indigenous people?

    Marie Krarup is not the only official foriegn visitor to critisize maori culture / protocols.

    Marion Weichelt Krupski the Ambassador of Switzerland to New Zealand did this last year when interviewed by a journalist of the Dominion Post magazine ‘Our Weekend’ November 3rd 2012 (Article:Sister Act….good luck finding it on internet as it seems to have been disappeared).Despite Dr Weichelt having attained a Doctorate she had not it would appear to have even done five minutes research on Google before attending a Maori function.Her Eminence was put out when she was placed in a back seat whilst her driver was escorted to the front.Surely it is not a good look for a so called well educated, diplomat to come to our country and be so hopelessly ignorant and then comment in such a way.
    You would think if Maori women were unhappy with this arrangement it would be up to them to do something about it?Not some foriegn diplomat too lazy to be informed of the customs of our people.

  • I voted for toning it down, why? because when welcoming people we are working with & want to be friends with, why would you publicly challenge them in a violent manner, & from my own experience this is not the only form a powhiri can take, there are much more peaceful & spiritual ways of presenting Maori culture & protocols, than what Krarup seems to have experienced, surely it would be prudent to dispense with some of the more forceful & challenging parts of the greeting, whoever advises on the powhiri to be used in these cases, must have very little sense of the rest of the worlds feelings & cultural norms & expectations when having been invited as guests, & besides when you treat your guests of any kind as if they are invaders to be shown your fighting prowess, then all you end up doing is evoking those same feelings in your guests. Empathy on the part of a host towards their guests is I am sure something we can all appreciate, whichever background we come from, & last time I checked there was more than one culture in our country, & if you have one on display why not the rest?

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