Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Cam Slater: Is National Actually Trying to Help Winston?

Every so often a once-in-a-lifetime issue comes along, an issue you can hang your hat on and grab a chunk of votes. National’s Christopher Luxon just passed up on one that was a sitter and went all woke and womble-like. It’s like he is trying to help Winston Peters grab some of National’s vote.


National leader Christopher Luxon is “not opposed per se” to bilingual road signs but says priority should be given to fixing potholes – even though Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is only replacing signs when it becomes necessary, such as for those damaged by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins isn’t backing down from accusing National of dog-whistling and stoking opposition to the new signs, but Hipkins himself was put to the test on translating the Maori names of government departments and our national museum.

The debate was sparked by National’s transport spokesman Simeon Brown, who this month told a Bay of Plenty meeting about transport infrastructure that “we all speak English, they should all be English” when asked for his opinion on Waka Kotahi’s proposal to introduce signs in English and te reo Maori.

“My view is it will make signs more confusing,” Brown said, telling the transport agency to just “do your job”.

The transport agency is consulting on its Tohu Huarahi Maori Bilingual Traffic Signs programme that would replace old destination signs, public and active transport signs, walking and cycling signs, general advisory and warning signs, plus motorway and expressway signs, with bilingual versions.
NZ Herald

Slow woman St?

Look, everyone reached peak Maori quite some time ago and most of us are heartily sick of being called colonisers, racists, settlers and various other racially charged names and descriptors…by people who also have settler and coloniser DNA in them.

Dark Drive?

Having it foisted on us whether we like it or not is tiresome and we’re over it.

Christopher Luxon could have reinforced what his braver spokesperson said and told us all that National wasn’t going to stand for this woke nonsense.

But no, he went all wobbly.

What Simeon Brown was talking about are signs sprinkled in this article, that show the utter ridiculousness of these bi-lingual signs where they are translating Maori street names into…uhmmm. Maori!

The proud darkness?

All these signs are in the Tauriko Business Park in Tauranga. The name of the business park is similarly a woke joke. There is no word in Maori ‘tauriko’.

According to Place Names of New Zealand by A. W. Reed and Peter Dowling, “Tauriko” is not a Maori name—the suburb was originally named Taurico after the Tauranga Rimu Company, with the spelling apparently altered to give the semblance of a Maori name

The dark tail?

As you can see this is now completely out of hand. We would not be allowed to call a road ‘A slow woman’, nor would ‘Dark St’ (Taurikura) be allowed. But put it in Te Lingo and it is all perfectly fine.

How does one translate “No heavy vehicle engine braking for the next 5 km”? Apart from ‘no’, ‘next’, ‘5’, and ‘heavy, all the rest are colonial constructs.

This is simply linguistic stupidity and they are getting away with it because the media’s PIJF funding is entirely dependent on a heroic re-writing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

If anyone dares to speak ill of this nonsense they get accused of racism or dog-whistle politics.

People don’t want these signs; it’s a waste of money when they should be fixing the roads with potholes that make the roads of Suva look like a paved paradise but if the Opposition stand up they’re ‘dog whistling’. The dog whistle deflection is set to replace racism.

But if you can hear a dog whistle, Chippy, what does that make you?

Christopher Luxon seems to be running a campaign designed to re-elect Winston Peters, and has ceded the issue to him rather than standing up against this woke rubbish.

Cam Slater is a New Zealand-based blogger, best known for his role in Dirty Politics and publishing the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blog, which operated from 2005 until it closed in 2019. This article was first published HERE


Robert Arthur said...

NZ is reckoned to not be an efficent country. Te reo contributes to gross inefficencyon many fronts. With signs there is the cost of consultation about the translation, the extra sign size and complexity etc. Luxon does not seem to realise that millions of NZers are longing for a firm stance on matters maori, postively stated and explained.

CXH said...

If they are te reo names, why do they include street, drive, place etc. Surely there are suitable te reo names to use. Or do we need to invent some more.

Anonymous said...

Since He Puapua was published (2020), National has been told of voter concerns and asked to take action many times - and the positive response that this would receive.