Some neigbourly advice for Kirikiriroa from a concerned JAFA

Written By: - Date published: 1:21 pm, March 16th, 2018 - 27 comments
Categories: Environment, Maori Issues, tourism - Tags: , , , , ,

Photo credit: Raglan Ramblers

Hamilton or Kirikiriroa? I don’t even know why this is a question. Well, I do, it’s a question because white people are stupid, but I mean there’s no question in my mind which name I prefer.

Kneejerk reactions to this sort of suggested change are a bit odd when you think about it. Everything in Aotearoa that has an English name had a Maori name before it. Historically we haven’t minded change so much when we are imposing it on other cultures, but when changing it back is suggested to us it’s all too hard to cope with.

And this isn’t even a proposal that, like the H in Whanganui for example, would lead to thousands of private businesses having to change their signage. All Hamilton’s mayor Andrew King wants to do is change the name of the City Council not the city itself. Yet from some of the outcry you would think he’s suggesting banning Christmas. Overreaction much?

Trust me Hamiltonians, with this change you would still be free to name your ‘leading’ businesses after a guy who, at the battle of Gate Pa during the New Zealand Wars, famously yelled “follow me!!” seconds before getting shot in the head.

Never mind that this was a battle all about dispossessing Maori of their land and disadvantaging them economically and socially for generations to come. I can’t think why the descendants of those who got shafted by this might be quite keen on a tiny wee crumb of a baby step towards not having to think about that every time they say the name of their city…

But you know what? I think you should take the extra step anyway and rename the city itself. Seize the opportunity to get a much nicer moniker that says something beautiful about your place.

Kirikiriroa, meaning ‘long stretch of gravel’, might just distract visitors and locals alike from the water flowing past that long stretch of gravel being about 90% liquefied cow excrement. Or, even better, it might even focus your mind on cleaning it up. Or is that what some are so afraid of?

You shouldn’t pillory your mayor for having ideas. Especially ones that would improve the relationship with your local Iwi, who are a massive part of your local economy by the way, and make the place sound nicer at the same time. Win-win, surely?

Look, I’m your friend on this Hamiltonians. I grew up in your city, and I still have a lot of fondness for the place. This is not an Aucklander concern trolling you like David Farrar telling Labour how to win elections. I genuinely care.

Various people have said this conversation is a waste of time. That only needs to be true if you shut it down or conduct it Michael Lhaws style. If it instead leads to a conversation about healing the past and creating a better future then it sounds well worth talking about to me.

27 comments on “Some neigbourly advice for Kirikiriroa from a concerned JAFA”

  1. AB 1

    It would be a way for Kirikiriroans to embrace that fantastic river – a great highway of history that flows through the heart of their town.

    • patricia bremner 1.1

      Kirikriroans…… love it. There are so many Hamiltons. This is unique. Kirikiriroa.

  2. bwaghorn 2

    You can happily hate your self if your white Enzo but I won’t . I didn’t cause any of this shit and I’d be absolutly fine with a change to kirikiriroa

  3. Dot 3

    I am happy Enzo that you are extending the conversation ,
    KIrikiriroa sounds a more attractive name to me .
    The fact that there are so many other Hamilton’s around the World
    and that the gentleman whose name it was, commands much less respect in the 2000’s. endorses return to Kirikiriroa.
    We are now Aotearoa /New Zealand and aiming for more independence,
    It was arrogant and lacking respect that British and Europeans renamed so many places here therefore this change would return some respect.

  4. Stunned Mullet 4

    About the only people who’ll give a crap are the local printers and sign makers.

  5. Michelle 5

    Whats new here in Wellington we call Pitione Petone it was changed so the settlers could pronounce it . And kate the 2nd hawkesby was being nasty encouraging people to vote for Tron talk about having no class or being all arse and no class.

  6. Carolyn_Nth 6

    KIrikiriroa – more distinctive name. Honours the long history of the area.

    I’d also be happy to change this city’s name back to Tāmaki Makaurau.

    And it’d make “JAFA” obsolete. Can’t find online how to say Aucklander in Māori?

    • Gabby 6.1

      Why you using your stupid white name Karoraina?

      • Carolyn_Nth 6.1.1

        Because I’m a stupid Pākehā person?

        And that has always been the name and it would be a cultural appropriation?

        • Gabby 6.1.1.1

          Are you stupid because you’re pakeha or just because?
          Is calling yourself pakeha a cultural appropriation?Has Hamilton always been called Kirikiriroa Kararaina?

  7. RedLogix 7

    I’m sure when you guys from Tamaki get around to dumping that stupid white name ‘Auckland’, your friendly neighbours an hour south will happily listen to your advice. 🙂

  8. mauī 8

    Good on the mayor, this is what leadership is about (and something that has been sadly missing in NZ for the last decade) – doing what you think is right in the face of opposition. Brave man, reminds me of mayor Andrew Judd.

    Instead of Kirikiriroa, what about renaming Hamilton to Waikato City or Waikato instead, a compromise. The name is widely used already and it would probably defeat half the opposition to a Māori name change from the get go. Kirikiriroa is possibly more suited to the renaming of the suburb where the old Kirikiriroa pa site was.

    Geez what a story though, a city named after a young Englishman who by the sounds of it barely spent much time in New Zealand at all with most of it occurring in Tauranga not Hamilton 🙄

    • Aaron 8.1

      They talked about naming it Waikato City about 20 years ago. Everyone thought it hilarious that the name could be reduced to WC. Some wit then suggested they rename it City Of Waikato because that could be reduced to COW and then a radio station offered up “Hamiltron – City of the Future” and a great many people have been referring to it as “The Tron” ever since. I think is struck a chord with everyone who could sense the council’s desperation as they tried to make the city sound cooler than the rest of the country thought it was.

  9. Bg 9

    I live in Hamilton, and would love to have the name changed. Im on the right of political spectrum, male white guy, but personally think we should adopt more and more Maori place names.

    Mt Taranaki not only recognises that the mountain already had a name, before being called Egmont, but sounds so much better.

    I mean North and South Islands???? How bloody original!

    A bit like the flag, the seed has been planted, over time names will eventually return to their original…

    • Grafton Gully 9.1

      No name at all until Homo sp. arrived. Now the the New Zealand Geographic Board imposed names.

  10. timeforacupoftea 10

    I heard some young maori guys last year calling Mount Egmont Mount Naki.

    Like most places they shorten everything today. sigh –

    • In Vino 10.1

      That is justifiable… As a language teacher, I much prefer the nicer sound of Kirikiriroa, but I fear it is a syllable or two too long for your average monolingual Kiwi English-speaker. A pity. If said quickly and correctly, it is pretty well 3 syllables, but your average Kiwi won’t achieve that.

  11. eric 11

    The Mighty Wakato City

  12. eric 12

    Waikato City

  13. Tricledrown 13

    In Vino Ham/il/ tron 3 sylabulls

  14. Stu Pid 14

    Yeah you are so right , the stupid white people with their dams and infrastructure and medical stuff and laws. Being conquered means nothing, right ?

    • Hanswurst 14.1

      Yeah, I propose that next time a surgeon operates on you, she changes your legal name to “Dickhead” and you can thank her for it.

      In terms of the concrete proposal, I like it in principle, but the thought of countless Kiwis saying “Kirree-kirree-rower” sets my teeth on edge.

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