Friday, July 29, 2022

John Porter: The Namer of Names Is the Father of All Things

Last year the Maori Party were pushing for all place names to be restored to their original Maori name by 2026 and ‘Aotearoa’ to officially replace ‘New Zealand’. They launched a petition to that effect.

Party leader Rawiri Waititi stated, “It’s well past time that Maori was restored to its rightful place as the first and official language of this country. We are a Polynesian country, we are Aotearoa.

“Aotearoa is a name that will unify our country rather than divide it,” Waititi said. “Others are trying to use it as a divisive tool, but this is an inclusive tool, where our ancestors consented to us all living on this land together.”

Further, Waititi claims, “Tangata whenua are sick to death of our ancestral names being mangled, bastardised, and ignored. It’s the 21st century, this must change.”

“It is the duty of the Crown to do all that it can to restore the status of our language. That means it needs to be accessible in the most obvious of places; on our televisions, on our radio stations, on road signs, maps and official advertising, and in our education system.”

But hold on Rawiri, the modern cities and towns of New Zealand do not owe their existence in any way to Maori culture.

Sure, their original locations may have been near Maori settlements but they, like most towns in New Zealand, are more representative of the product of European culture, enterprise, investment, work ethic, technology and plain hard work. These settlements have evolved and taken over, in some places, two hundred years to develop.

So yes, Rawiri, they are an outcome of colonisation.

Colonisation, yes that’s the word that seems to be the demon or dirty word now in Rawiri’s mind.

Colonisation, in the form of hard work and enterprise, created the cities and towns of New Zealand.

Alongside colonists, Maori have lived, worked and benefitted from their existence for generations.

Over the generations, many would have been employed in the various industries that built them and then in the many and various industries that grew them.

What is so wrong with that Mr Waititi?

Why for once do you not acknowledge the huge amount of benefit Maori have derived from colonisation?

Because it does not suit your intolerant narrative does it Rawiri!

Survivors of colonisation. Photoshopped image credit Pixy.

There is no political capital to be gained by conceding that colonisation by way of health services, education, law and order (that is a biggy in regards to cannibalism) and infrastructure…well, the list goes on forever!

But it seems the Hamilton City Council have taken up the Maori Party’s mission.

Earlier this year a Hamilton street, named after a New Zealand land wars general, will no longer be after Hamilton councillors voted to rename it.

Von Tempsky Street, named in honour of General Gustavus von Tempsky, will be changed to Putikitiki St, a name that reflects the original name of the area in the city.

Long-time activist Taitimu Maipi, who launched a petition in 2021 to have the name changed, says the outcome of that meeting was significant for Hamilton to no longer have a street named after a member of a “murderous group” of people who led the invasion of Waikato.

“It reminded us of the atrocities that these guys did to our people.”

Well, “Gifting” a Maori name and changing their names will never make places Maori cities; it will just cause confusion and resentment on a massive scale.

But let’s imagine that all the cities and towns, all the place names and all the street names were changed to Maori names.

Firstly, think of all the internal costs (every road sign or street sign replaced) and then try to get your head around all the international costs (Google Maps, sat nav etc).

Secondly, every tourist coming to New Zealand (remembering tourism was our biggest export earner before Covid) is going to be totally confused – and don’t forget that 1.3 billion people speak English either as a native or second language. Imagine the logistics of trying to teach the whole world all our new names – in a language the world is not familiar with.

On top of this, there is the problem that only 3% of Maori speak Maori!

But what about this: in April 2021, the Advertising Standards Authority of New Zealand upheld a complaint against a radio advertisement that mispronounced the Maori place name, Rangiora. The complaint was upheld on the basis that the mispronunciation was disrespectful, caused harm to te reo Maori and was likely to offend consumers.

Well, the semi-legal precedent seems to have been set; so if all our place names are changed – bloody hell, what a dog’s breakfast that’s going to create!

All the easily offended thin skins are going to be swarming out of the woodwork and having a field day!

So, what really is your goal Mr Waititi?

Do you want to destroy New Zealand as we know it?

Do you want to destroy all of the advantages that colonisation has brought to all New Zealanders?

Is that going to benefit Maori Mr Waititi?

No! Of course not.


All a big charade to garner votes for the Maori party!

Power, the politics of language and the naming of places are all closely related.

As the old saying goes, “The namer of names is the father of all things”.

John Porter is a citizen, deeply concerned about the loss of democracy and the insidious promotion of separatism by our current government. This article was first published HERE


DeeM said...

Just look at the picture of our two "Maori" MPs.
Apart from the obligatory face drawings, both are dressed in Western clothes!!
One wearing a stetson (WTF) and the other a top-hat. Are they about to audition for a western and a magic act?
And both drinking Starbucks coffee.
AND both sitting on chairs at a table.

ALL WESTERN STUFF. "But we hate colonisation", they bleat. You could have fooled me!

Two more insincere, self-absorbed, out-of-touch, shallow individuals you could not hope to meet. And that's why, at best, they manage about 1.5% of the party vote.

Terry Morrissey said...

Clowns to the left of us and clowns to the right an a couple of bloody muppets at the table. And they expect to be taken seriously?

Mudbayripper said...

Of course there is a more fitting word to replace the contentious use of the word colonization. That word simply, is civilization.

Anonymous said...

the fact that 15% of voters are maori and the maori party gets <2% of the votes should itself be a reason to dissolve the party. if i had been the leader, i would have escaped to Australia and taken on a new identity...

Anonymous said...

You can look up their public facebook pages and see the racist and nasty remarks they make about white nzers. But it is us they call racist. I think it's all beyond belief. The worst comment was on john tamihere's page saying " pakeha are only allowed to live here by maori consent."