7 Apr 2014

Topless Maori women 'joke'

11:28 am on 7 April 2014

A member of the London-based Maori cultural group, Ngati Ranana, appears to have had a little fun at the expense of British media writing about the New Zealand tour of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The Express and the Telegraph have both quoted Tredegar Hall as saying female dancers who should go topless for such an important event will cover up when they greet the royal pair.

And Mr Hall is quoted as saying men taking part in the powhiri have been told to wear underwear

But with the Royal family arriving in New Zealand on Monday, the story is being treated with a healthy dose of scepticism.

Maori history professor Paul Moon told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme it's "preposterous".

"Once one media outlet reports it, there's a healthy appetite out there for it to be repeated. It goes to the basic rule of you have to check your sources."

Professor Moon, from the Auckland University of Technology, said had they done that, as the New Zealand media did, they would have discovered they were having their leg pulled.