Danish MP calls powhiri 'uncivilised and grotesque'

Danish politician Marie Krarup was upset by the traditional Maori welcome she received when she visited New Zealand.Photo / Supplied
Danish politician Marie Krarup was upset by the traditional Maori welcome she received when she visited New Zealand.Photo / Supplied

A Danish MP has blasted the powhiri she received on a visit to New Zealand as "uncivilised and grotesque''.

In an opinion piece in a Danish newspaper, right wing politician Marie Krarup says she was shocked to be welcomed by a dancing "half naked man.''

She says on arrival at the Devonport Naval Base, her group was greeted by a man shouting and screaming in Maori, and poking his tongue out.

Ms Krarup goes on to say she felt like an idiot giving a hongi and the waiata performed by naval personnel sounded like a Danish children's song about a happy ladybird.

The politician was part of a defence delegation which visited last month.

Maori culture expert and former professor at Auckland University, Dr Ranginui Walker, says it is completely ignorant.

"She has a totally monocultural view of the world and doesn't understand that the welcome she received is the highest honour.''

Ranginui Walker says Maori customs obviously had not been explained to Ms Krarup before her visit.

He says her remarks are very short sighted.

"Very often politicians are not as well educated as they ought to be, perhaps haven't studied history.''

- Newstalk ZB

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n6 at 20 Apr 2014 05:21:05 Processing Time: 381ms