Call for new protocols on sacred sites over nude photo on Taranaki Maunga

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Taranaki academic, Dr Ruakere Hond is calling on Māori to outline values and protocols for sacred Māori sites.  It follows the recent picture of a glamour model who posted a nude photo of herself at the peak of Mt Taranaki on social media.

Dr Hond says the photo of Jaylene Cook naked on their sacred mountain is an issue for all Māori.

This isn't an issue that Taranaki should discuss and resolve. This is something that all Māori should consider our mountains and sacred places. We need to outline some values and boundaries of what is acceptable and unacceptable.

25-year-old Cook with her photographer boyfriend Josh Shaw, who took the photo, told Kawe Kōrero Reporters that they never knew it would offend anyone.

Jaylene Cook says, "We were just passing through the area and obviously mesmerised by the mountain so big and beautiful."

The controversial image was posted on Instagram five days ago, after the pair had climbed to the summit and has gone viral on online, and has been picked up by international media, including E! News and Daily Mail.

Hond says, "So, taking a (naked) picture that can be sold internationally or to build up your own profile without considering the significance of the area is not right. So bringing that forum of soft porn on the mountain is offensive."

Department of Conservation is working closely with Iwi and say a Park Management Plan is due for review which is an opportunity to further discuss culturally sensitive practices on the Maunga.