In present times koha is normally given in monetary values.
In the past, koha
would often consist of korowai, taonga, food or local delicacies. In the instance where
food was to be the koha, it was not laid on Te Maraenui Atea o Tumatauenga because of the rules of
tapu and noa. In these
times where koha is money, it is used to offset the
costs of accommodation, food, electricity, laundry expenses, breakages and an
additional amount for any further development the local people may wish to make
on the marae.
It is normally the prerogative of the manuhiri to decide how much to give and an assessment can be made based on much it costs to accommodate people per day for the number of days they are staying. It is also the obligation of the manuhiri to lay a koha down no matter how long the visitors remain, even if it is only for one or two hours. The moneyed society around the marae is not built on aroha and the marae requires financial support to maintain it.
Many people have not appreciated these points and consequently local people have had to take from their own pockets to offset the costs. To increase the mana of the manuhiri it should be remembered that the assessment of the size of the koha should err on the liberal side.
The koha, in an envelope, is laid down in front of
the manuhiri on the marae.
This the first contact made by both sides. Ensure that it has coins in it so it
will not blow away. Do not put your prized mere down
on it, as has been done, because you are presenting the mere as well to the marae.
A local person will pick it up. This is normally accompanied by a karanga.