*

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wanganui City name to change?

Long time activist Ken Mair says a proposal has been made to the Geographic Board to add an 'h' into Wanganui's name. To 'correct a wrong', it is supposedly supported by local MPs. I wonder which MPs they could be? National's Chester Borrows has caved in and endorses the change. New National at its PC worst. Tariana's support is guaranteed. Anything for a vote.

Mair will be long remembered as a prime activist in the 1995 illegal occupation of Moutoa Gardens in Wanganui. He has surfaced again after a long absence, maybe hoping to cash in on the new found alliances of the Maori and National parties.

A staunch opponent, local mayor Michael Laws will not take this lying down. Expect much press on the matter. Talkback will go through the roof as the community re-endorses no change. In 2006 a referendum 82% said no.

The board has already allowed changes in the river name and the DHB name. Not far away, Mt Egmont was suddenly renamed Taranaki overnight. Wanganui was transcribed without an 'h' as that was how the early European heard the name. Same as Whangarei is 'wonga-ray' rather than 'fonga-ray' as is the PC custom today. Maori was a spoken language, not written and has no letter 'h'.

Next step, the country called New Zealand will soon cease to exist, welcome to the Land of the Long White Cloud.

details from an article in Manawatu Standard 16 Feb 2009 - not online

1 comment:

Inventory2 said...

Not quite so PM - there are numerous dialects, all of which have differences. The Whanganui river tribes use the silent "h", so you will always hear Tariana talk about the Wanganui river, and refer to her family as wanau, not whanau. Other tribes pronounce the "h", and then you get the South Islanders! Ngai Tahu pronounce the "ng" as "k", so their correct pronunciation is Kai Tahu, and they refer to the mountaib formerly known as Mt Cook as Aoraki, while the NI tribes call it Aorangi! - confusing eh!