Supporters of the man at the centre of an alleged visa scam say the courts have no right to judge on issues of tikanga Maori - or Maori custom.

Gerrard Otimi appeared in court this morning and entered no plea on three charges of deception.

The charges against Otimi relate to Pacific Island overstayers paying $500 for their passports to be stamped and to be adopted into his hapu.

Outside court a supporter, Amato Akarana Rewi, said the charges against Otimi were "bullsh**" and should be heard in the Supreme Court.

"This court has no jurisdiction over tikanga Maori, it has no right at all. Statute is void to the sovereign Maori nation.

Mr Rewi said there was no validity in the charges at all and they had been laid "under assumption of Parliamentary sovereignty" but that had no meaning.

Earlier, Otimi was led towards the dock, accompanied by a kuia who performed a karanga.

Otimi was remanded on bail and told to surrender his passport.

Before the hearing, he approached the media inside court and told them to leave the courtroom.

"News media has done enough damage to the whole thing," Mr Otimi said.

He stood near the dock and was dressed in a full-length leather coat with his greying hair in a top-knot.

While he stood, Mr Rewi approached him but was turned away by a police officer.

Mr Rewi told the police officer: "I'm not one of your bloody slaves."

As Otimi walked from the dock, one supporter yelled out "kia kaha [be strong]".

Outside court, Otimi's daughter, Joanne, said people had been calling her up and crying on the phone begging for help with immigration matters.

She said more people had asked for the help of her father's hapu since the story broke but no one had asked for their money back.

"They don't want it because they've been given their freedom."

She said the hapu would be holding meetings but would not be issuing any more certificates.

"We've put a hold on registrations at this stage until everything is in order, until everyone knows what's going on."

Supporters of Otimi from the Pacific Island community gathered outside court and sang "we are free".

The three charges of deception relate to five complainants named in court documents.

Mr Otimi will next appear in court on August 5.