Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Traditionally, it is an example of the reciprocity which is a common feature of much Maori tradition, and often involves the giving of gift by visitors to a host marae. This often comes in the form of food or money to offset the costs of the hosting, although taonga (treasured possessions) are also sometimes offered as koha.
In wider current New Zealand society the term has a broader meaning more closely associated with the English term donation. When you are invited to a "free" event you may be asked for 'koha', usually in the form of a "gold coin donation " (i.e., $1 or $2 - this being the colour of these coins - rather than smaller silver coin denominations).
In recent political terminology, the term has taken on more disparaging connotations of being an under-the-counter payments or golden handshakes for executives associated with business ventures (particularly those involving the Maori community).
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