Eftpos for koha: Is that going too far?

By Taroi Black

An Auckland marae is taking a cautionary approach post Covid-19, using eftpos machines when receiving koha to minimise contact.

It's paywave koha - instead of handing over an envelope of money, you swipe your card.

The koha is given on the marae by visitors to their hosts in money or other gifts.

Manurewa Marae chair Rangi Mclean explains the new approach to marae customs happened because of the health and safety requirements created by the pandemic.

“Our local elders have discussed ways we can adapt with the new normal that's been presented to us all to help our whanau. Because of that, it's made the process to continue practising our culture easily.”

The new digital approach was brought in to limit contact between people because of Covid-19 fears. That matters even more after two new cases emerged today.

But how does paywave fit in with tikanga practices?

Well, not everyone agrees. For instance, within the Tainui boundaries is Ngati Raukawa, which has an opposing view.

Paraone Gloyne says, “My iwi of Raukawa doesn't agree with this form and approach to tikanga because you'll lose the essence of koha.”

“Although I love modern approaches to technology, I don't agree this should be an outcome for our marae.”

The impact of Covid-19 has changed the cultural landscape on marae such as the banning of hongi and hugs to keep the virus away. Now with a new digital approach, that matters even more after two new cases emerged today.