For God’s sake, its the same name

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 am, December 18th, 2009 - 53 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags: ,

In what has got to be the ultimate manifestation of this government’s inability to take a simple decision for fear of losing someones vote, Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson is set to announce that the city the rest of the country knows as Redneckville will now be known as Wanganui and Whanganui.

It’s the same frigging name. It’s not akin to Aorangi/Mt Cook, co-names from different cultural roots. It’s the same word – the correct spelling and the old misspelling.

Government agencies will use ‘h’ but ‘no h’ will also be official and, no doubt, Michael Lhaws’ council will use the old spelling. Instead of ending it, this ‘decision’ is likely to further the argument over the spelling as individual organisations choose which of the spelling they prefer. If nothing else it will make googling the place a pain in the arse.

This has been the dumbest national political debate ever. Rather than just finally put it to bed one way or the other, the government has opted to punt for touch, leaving the issue to rear its annoying head in the future. Weak.

53 comments on “For God’s sake, its the same name”

  1. fizzleplug 1

    Although it does save all the small businesses re-branding costs. Which is a good thing.

    • Rob Carr 1.1

      Would that really cost so much? Its not like they would have to do it on the day the name changed. Could be phased out.

    • felix 1.2

      Zero cost.

      No-one would need to go out and reprint anything until they were going to print it anyway. No-one.

      No-one would need to throw away a single scrap of stationery. No-one.

      Did Michael Laws tell you there’d be a fine for using the wrong name or something?

      • fizzleplug 1.2.1

        Except that it’s not a great look to have the name of your city spelled wrong in your business name.

        • felix 1.2.1.1

          Usually not a good look, no.

          Of course if name of your city has just been officially changed after a long, boring, and very public debate I expect people will tend to make allowances for the first couple of years, eh?

          And by “people will tend to make allowances” I mean “nobody will give a shit”.

          • lukas 1.2.1.1.1

            other than Laws and Turia, I suspect they are the kind of people who would not do business with someone if the business used the “wrong” version of the name.

        • Daveosaurus 1.2.1.2

          Well, a lot of them have been spelling it wrong for the last century and a half; from now until they run out of letterhead and business cards shouldn’t be too much of an issue…

  2. Peter Johns 2

    With Fizzleplug on this one. There will be some disappointed ISPs, sign writers & printers out there with this decision. What’s in a name anyway?
    There are more pressing issues to worry about than wheather we have native spelling correct or not.

  3. corkscrew 4

    To me it has and always will be called ‘Petre’.

    • It’s easy. Let’s spell it the way Maori did in pre-European times.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        I can’t tell if you’re being serious or not.

        Maori didn’t have a written language until European colonisation.

        • Deus ex Machina 4.1.1.1

          I knew that, and I am being serious. If Maori didn’t spell it with an ‘h’, or without an ‘h’ come to that, what authority do ‘they’ now have to demand it have an ‘h’ against the wishes of 80% of the people who actually live there and define their homes with it.

          Language is a living, changing thing. If you want to be ‘correct’ the plural of forum, like this one, is fora not forums, but ‘forums’ is now accepted usage while ‘fora’ is archaic and event pretentious. Similarly whether ‘Whanganui is correct or not, Wanganui had become accepted usage and insisting on an undemocratic change for the most facile of historical reasons is more about power and political correctness than accuracy.

          • Bored 4.1.1.1.1

            Sound logic and in principle agree. Then comes the real issue, the expression of “indigenous” rights (what ever that means to who ever) with all its connotations of political ownership, sovereignty, race etc etc.

            My personal take on it is that if it is important to Maori that they spell “Maori” names, words etc in a way that suits them I as a pakeha will defer to their preference and judgment and not intervene. If conversely a Maori tells me how I should spell my European names words etc I will take a non placatory stance.

            Had Laws not made this a political circus I think the whole issue would be long forgotten on the above principle. He does not deserve any credit for cheap politicking when far more important issues are at hand.

            • Rex Widerstrom 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Had Laws not made this a political circus I think the whole issue would be long forgotten, as would he. He therefore deserves credit for successfully hoodwinking the dopey media by utilising cheap politicking and divisive racism as a last gasp method of maintaining his national “profile”, because there is no more important issue than Micael’s right to see himself written about in the newspaper.

              There, fixed it.

  4. Innocent bystander 5

    What re-branding costs? Official names are only binding on government agencies.
    The NZ Geographic board will not be employing a squad of walk short clad goons armed with clipboards to burst into every corner dairy and hair salon town to enforce their decision. Private businesses can call Whanganui whatever they want.

  5. Ed 6

    There are already a number of organisations that have used the name Whanganui for years with no problems. This is a lame decision by the government – perhaps they were intimidated by the mayor . . .

  6. satty 7

    We can only hope and pray that people don’t get lost with different names on the roadsigns 🙂

  7. cocamc 8

    Actually – who gives a shit. It’s just a name – don’t we have more important things to worry about.

    • Why I give a shit – tho’ I wouldn’t give any more than that – and why I’m surprised there aren’t more folk on this site giving a shit – is that this pisses on democracy.

      I couldn’t care less how Wanganui spells itself, but the fact is that in a popular referendum 80% of the people who live there said they wanted it to remain Wanganui yet their views are being pissed on by a Government more concerned with buying the support of the Maori Party in Parliament in order to preserve its power than it is in representing the wishes of the people of this country.

      • Lew 8.1.1

        Matters of historical, geographic and historical fact aren’t up for the popular vote, though. Or do you think they should be?

        L

        • Lew 8.1.1.1

          Hrm, one of those ‘historicals’ should be a ‘linguistic’.

          Sorry.

          L

          • Lew 8.1.1.1.1

            No, it’s not. You either accept that the word was ‘Whanganui’ (whether spelt or not) or you dispute that fact. If The former, there is only one correct spelling; if the latter: make your case.

            How it’s pronounced isn’t relevant to the spelling — or, to be more precise, is only relevant if those whose word it is (the local people whose iwi bears the same name) choose to make it relevant. In this case they manifestly haven’t.

            As to your example: perhaps they should. This being a free society, you’re welcome to bring such a case to the NZGB and have them deliberate on the matter.

            L

        • Deus ex Machina 8.1.1.2

          It’s an historical fact that the settlement of “Wanganui” has been “Wanganui” for a a whole lot longer than it ever was “Whanganui”, and linguistically I hear it pronounced “Wongangui” almost exclusively, with no fricative.

          In any case you’re not voting on what the historical etc. facts are. You asking people what effect they want to give those historical etc. in their lives today. After all, perhaps the Geographic Board ought to rule upon whether the correct name for New Zealand isn’t Nieu Zeeland.

      • Swampy 8.1.2

        Whanganui belongs to all of New Zealand, not Michael Laws. His campaign is obviously for political ends, because he can only get elected in Whanganui and wouldn’t survive five minutes in Parliament as he proved.

  8. randal 9

    hey eddie we live in a modern secular schizophrenic state.
    we dont believe in God but nodobody wants to give up christmas!
    there is no God and even worse there is no tolerance for any one or any thing.
    the aitchers are like queer sects or the numbskulls who say that the constitution of the U.S. is the most perfect document if only an extra clause that they have devised themselves was included as an amendment.
    I am afraid that never in my wildest dreams would I ever agree with you know who but while the minions are exerciseing themselves over an abstract nothing the concrete causes of dissatisfaction and social distress are being completely ignored while the idiologues fight over a stupid frigging h.

  9. prism 10

    I disagree that having the option of spelling it differently is dumb. There need be no confusion about understanding – It is quite obvious what place is being referred to. And the superglue forces of reaction do not have to have their little worlds shifted even slightly. Eventually the spelling that Maori want will be the accepted one and the changeover will be achieved seamlessly.

  10. Tigger 11

    This is a fence-sitting position that could have easily been solved with common sense. The place is called Whanganui. Require all official bodies to use official name. Let private business change names over time. At some point all the Wanganui signs will simply become quaint relics. And as already pointed out – it’s not example Egmont/Taranaki here – no one is going to be confused because they saw a sign that still said Wanganui.

    Typical National move, a ‘fix’ that isn’t actually a fix.

  11. gobsmacked 12

    The essential point here is that this non-decision makes both spellings official. It is not phasing out “Wanganui”, over time. It is not just a matter of waiting for new letterhead. There is no reason to change Wanganui, now the government has said it’s correct.

    So a decision will still have to be made, eventually. In the meantime, the arguing will go on. What a farce.

  12. BLiP 13

    At least the decision is consistent with Shonkey’s overall strategy for New Zealand: do nothing.

  13. randal 14

    I dont care how they spell it.
    what I object to is toeing somebody elses line.
    and most of all I object to some crumb smirking away about thow they made the pakeha change.
    hahahahahaha frigging ha.
    why dont they just re name it completely.
    left right black or white they are all trying to force us to behave in exactly the way they want it.
    you know.
    like children who want their own way.

    • prism 14.1

      Rave on, you crazy feeling,
      You know its got me reeling,
      Rave on, rave on oh oh oh
      Hey Randal, this was an old pop song. Sounds like you might have heard it.

  14. The Maori language version of the Treaty of Waitangi is known as “Te Tiriti o Waitangi”. Clearly the Maori had no word of their own for ‘treaty’ so they adopted the European concept and word and spelled it as it sounded phonetically in Maori.

    However if Wanganui without an ‘h’ is wrong, being presumably one way the early settlers spelled the Maori word as it sounded phonetically, ‘tiriti’ is equally wrong (being one race’s attempt to spell a word from another’s language) and should be corrected to “Te Treaty o Waitangi”.

    No? Ah, then it is as I thought. All races in New Zealand are equal, but some are more equal than others.

    Now where have I heard that before?

    • Lew 15.1

      DEM,

      The Maori language version of the Treaty of Waitangi is known as “Te Tiriti o Waitangi’. Clearly the Maori had no word of their own for ‘treaty’ so they adopted the European concept and word and spelled it as it sounded phonetically in Maori.

      WTF? How the hell does this follow? The document was written in English and partly translated, partly transliterated by speakers whose fluency and understanding of the two languages was highly imperfect.

      All you’re doing here is illustrating how little you know about how languages work and develop, and about NZ’s constitutional history. If you want to keep at it, I’ll not prevent you; but I should say you’re not really helping your cause.

      L

    • QoT 15.2

      You really don’t know how different languages and the sounds they employ work, do you?

  15. prism 16

    Michael Laws on tv! Strutting like a fine-feathered rooster warning people not to say Wanganui with a f. How can he maintain his confident superiority based on – what? Looking at him is a terrible warning against falling for an outspoken personality when voting for an official something. Ronald Reagan could tell good jokes but being a public figure is no joke, though the public might like to joke about them. That’s no great consolation during the years they’re in office.

    • Daveosaurus 16.1

      I actually say “Michael Laws” with an “f”. Also a “u”, a “c”, a “k”, a “w”, an “i” and a “t”.

    • Ed 16.2

      Lhaws may well be correct that it should not be pronounced with an initial ‘f’ sound. It was almost certainly originally pronounced with a ‘wh’ sound as in ‘when’ or ‘whence’, and wrongly written down by some early Europeans as has been pointed out above. That the pronunciation of many ‘wh’ words in English has changed to ‘w’ (eg wen or wence) is no excuse to further change to ‘f’ (fen or fence?) – that is not Taranaki maori pronunciation.

    • Swampy 16.3

      Hate to say it but Laws is correct, the h is silent in the local dialect.

      • The Voice of Reason 16.3.1

        Not so, Swampy. It is not the hard ‘f’ sound we are more familiar with (whakatane, whanau), but pronounced as if the h came before the w. More like whisper or whisk.

        And I wouldn’t rely the linguistic accuracy of batshit mad racist Michael Laws any more than I’d ask his advice on the wisdom of eyeliner for men.

        • prism 16.3.1.1

          I’ve wondered about Laws and eyeliner and his eyelashes. You can’t help the way you look so that’s just mean. I dislike what he says and thinks – how can Whanganui embrace this guy – or are they so eager for publicity that any is welcome?

          • The Voice of Reason 16.3.1.1.1

            I’m told the eyeliner is tattooed in, which is creepy in itself. Don’t know about the eyelashes. Can you get extensions for eyelashes?

            As it happened, I was in Whangaz yesterday and most folk seemed to be shrugging their shoulders about the decision. In fact, people seemed miffed that no decision really seemed to have been made, though TVNZ changing the weather forecast and news headlines to the ‘new’ spelling seems to suggest the change is going to come whether the rednecks like it or not.

            Be interesting when the highway signposts get changed. It’s only going to happen when they need replacing. It’s not like I’d encourage people to nick the current ones to bring that about earlier than necessary, but if it were to happen, sweet.

        • prism 16.3.1.2

          I’ve wondered about Laws and eyeliner and his eyelashes. You can’t help the way you look so that’s just a mean thought on my part. I dislike what he says and thinks – how can Whanganui embrace this guy – or are they so eager for publicity that any is welcome?

          • prism 16.3.1.2.1

            The above two of my comments – the first I chose to amend so went to edit and did so. But still the first remains, it wasn’t discarded and replaced with new edited version.

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    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    6 days ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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