This policy applies to all members of the University.
To clarify the circumstances in which the giving of koha is appropriate at the University.
The giving of koha is an integral part of Maori culture, as an expression of manaakitanga and aroha, goodwill and gratitude. Tuku koha is the act of giving a gift where the recipient is acknowledged for a particular contribution or service. A common example is when going to a marae it is appropriate to give koha. It is important when giving koha to consider both the sensitive nature of the act of giving and the importance within Maori culture.
For the purposes of this policy koha is defined as “is a gift or donation (in cash or kind) given in accordance with kawa (Maori protocol). It is generally a gift where the is acknowledged for a specific contribution or service”. It is distinct from expenditure for services supplied. Koha is not a “payment” for goods or services, so, when it takes the form of cash, there must be no fixed amount stated or expected.
1. The act of giving a gift, by nature, is sensitive expenditure and subject to a high level of public scrutiny. This must be kept at the forefront when considering the giving of koha.
2. Prior to giving koha on behalf of the University, staff members are to consider all the guiding principles outlined below;
- The staff member is acting in the capacity of a representative of the University
- There should be a clearly identifiable relationship between the University and recipient of the koha
- The activity or event aligns with the University’s vision and strategic goals
- Koha is justifiable in cultural terms, consistent with the definition and reflective of the occasion
- Be mindful of public perception and the need for transparency
- The gift is consistent with relevant University policies. Note - see key relevant documents.
3. Situations where the giving of koha is appropriate:
- For use on or for a marae;
- Mātanga support for pōwhiri, mihi whakatau, meetings, or other events;
- Hui or meetings with Māori organisations (including iwi), roopu and senior individuals;
- To an expert who has led a tikanga process on behalf of the University on a case by case basis
- To whānau pani (bereft family) during tangihanga on behalf of the University
Note - Payments made to individuals/organisations for assistance or participation with research projects or studies, does not meet the definition of koha. For guidance on reimbursement or compensation for research participants, refer to the relevant sections of the UAHPEC Applicants’ Reference Manual or the AHREC Applicants’ Manual.
4. The amount of the koha is to take into consideration the following:
- Have regard to Māori custom
- The amount of the koha must be appropriate to the circumstances;
- Be moderate and conservative; and
- Be within the budgeted amount of the approving manager.
Note - Advice may be sought from the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Māori) or delegate on what amount is appropriate for particular circumstances.
5. To obtain approval for giving koha, staff members must complete the FS-42 Form, and submit to the relevant approver based on section 7 below.
6. Koha must be approved prior to the expenditure being incurred as follows:
- Koha up to $100 requires approval from a person with the appropriate delegated financial authority.
- Koha with a value between $101 and $250 must have written approval from an approving manager at Level 3 (or higher) of the University Organisational Structure (UOS).
- Koha with a value between $251 and $500 must have written approval from the relevant University Executive Committee (UEC) member.
- Koha over $500 must have written approval from the Vice-Chancellor or delegate.
7. Koha, by nature, does not require a tax invoice or receipt, however it is the responsibility of the giver of the koha to retain adequate documentation.
8. The approved FS-42 Form must be used when seeking approval for koha and attached to cash advance reconciliation or employee reimbursement claim.
9. The completed FS-42 form will form a koha register and this will be reviewed regularly by Group Financial Control to identify any trends, patterns or risks that may need to be raised to the Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Vice Chancellor of Operations.
10. Where the approving manager, upon inquiry, ascertains that a koha is actually a payment in relation to services provided, then a tax invoice must be obtained, and the transaction treated in accordance with normal University practice for such payments. The koha may be subject to tax on schedular payment (withholding tax) deductions if applicable.
The following definitions apply to this document:
Approving manager is the line manager or a manager higher in the approval hierarchy with the appropriate delegated financial authority.
Koha is a gift or donation (in cash or kind) given in accordance with kawa (Maori protocol). It is generally a gift where the is acknowledged for a specific contribution or service. It is distinct from expenditure for services supplied. Koha is not a “payment” for goods or services, so, when it takes the form of cash, there must be no fixed amount stated or expected. The giving of koha is an integral part of Maori culture.
Manaakitanga showing respect, generosity and care for others.
Mātanga means a person with expertise to carry out a particular task. Mātanga can include kaumatua and kuia.
Members means those persons who make up the University as set out in section 3(2) of The University of Auckland Act 1961 and includes University employees, students, Council committee members, contractors, sub-contractors and invitees.
Tangihanga is the enduring Maori ceremony for mourning someone who has died.
University means Waipapa Taumata Rau - the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.
Key relevant documents
Include the following:
Sensitive Expenditure Policy
Conflict of Interest Policy
Gifts, Donation and Hospitality to Third Party Policy
Controlling sensitive expenditure: Guide for public organisations — Office of the Auditor-General New Zealand (oag.parliament.nz)
Document management and control
Owner: Chief Financial Officer
Content manager: Group Financial Controller
Approved by: Vice-Chancellor
Date approved: August 2022
Review date: 31 August 2027