A ban on women at a marae building site could deter young women from working in construction, according to a company which encourages Māori and Pasifika people to learn trades.
Mokau Marae in Helena Bay, 46km north-east of Whangārei, has banned women from its grounds while its wharekai (kitchen) and wharenui (main meeting room) are built. The work is expected to be finished in 2020.
A sign on the marae’s gate reads: “Please respect our tikanga. No women allowed by order of the Marae Committee.”
This could be an interesting legal issue.
A marae as a private body has the right to exclude women, just as some gentlemen’s clubs have in the past.
But does that right extend to employment? If they are saying that any contractors can’t allow female staff onto the site, then I suspect that does breach the law. You are not allowed to discriminate by gender in terms of employment.