A Danish politician says she was shocked by a Maori welcome she received in New Zealand, calling the powhiri “uncivilised” and labelling a marae a “grotesque” mark of multicultural worship.
Marie Krarup, a right-wing politician, said in an opinion piece in a Danish newspaper that she was stunned to be welcomed by a dancing, barely-clothed man, instead of a handshake or salute.
She was in New Zealand as part of a defence committee visit, and said the man performed “strange rituals and poked his tongue out.”
“When we came to a naval base, we were not received with a handshake or salute by uniformed men as usual,” she wrote in Berlingske Tidende.
“No, we were welcomed with a Maori dance ritual, with a half-naked man in grass skirt, shouting and screaming in Maori.”
She then went on to write that she felt like an idiot when giving a hongi, and compared a waiata to a Danish children’s song about a happy ladybird, accompanied by a “kindergarten-teacher-guitar-accompaniment”.
The marae, which she dubbed a “Maori temple” was a form of cultural self-destruction, she said.
“It was decorated with God-figures with angry faces and large erect penises.”
“It’s a mystery to me how the poor naval officers could endure both the ceremony and the surroundings.”
She is an MP for the Danish People’s Party, which political commentators say is very right-wing, with goals of protecting the freedom and cultural heritage of the Danish people, and to limit immigration.