The media are being asked to cough up cash to cover Waitangi Day commemorations on the Lower Te Tii marae.

A Ngapuhi elder is asking reporters and cameramen to hand over hundreds of dollars to cover the celebrations.

Prime Minister John Key has been welcomed onto the marae by local iwi Ngapuhi, but news outlets are being told to stay away unless they put forward a $500 service fee.

TV1, TV3 have been asked for $500 while Maori TV has been asked for $1000, Newstalk ZB reported.

Newstalk ZB Reporter Ryan Boswell says they were told by Kaumatua Hama Apihama that some news organisations have already paid the money, and were more than accommodating with his request.

He says they have been told if they do not put forward the fee they will be kicked out, and their gear confiscated.

The Herald has given a koha as part of normal procedure when going onto a marae but has not paid a fee.

Sky News and Newstalk ZB had not been informed about the payment and were refusing to comply.

- Newstalk ZB, NZ Herald staff