20 May 2010

MP appalled at 'dial-a-powhiri' for Mickey Mouse

2:58 pm on 20 May 2010

Labour MP Shane Jones has slammed a powhiri in Auckland for Mickey Mouse as a welcome too far.

The billion-dollar rodent was welcomed - along with Minnie Mouse - to Vector Arena by kapa haka group Te Puru o Tamaki in advance of the Disney on Ice show that opens on Thursday.

The group stayed in costume for the whole powhiri, including the hongi.

Mr Jones says such "dial-a-powhiri" put the credibility of the ceremony and Maori culture at risk. It's part of a trend for powhiri to be treated as entertainment, he says, rather than as an important way to bring groups of people together.

The MP told Waatea News that people in kapa haka need to take a hard look at where they are taking Maori culture.