Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Mike Hosking: We don't need Māori road signs

What possible, sensible, and the key word here is 'sensible', reason can there be to introduce Māori road signs?

The idea is out for consultation as we speak.

I wonder how much of a rort that is. Is there really consultation? Is anyone actually listening? Or is it a smokescreen to pretend they asked a few people?

The simple truth is the vast majority of us don’t speak Māori. So, in a sheer practical sense, it achieves nothing.

The 5-8% percent who have some form of ability in Māori also speak English.

English is spoken by everyone; therefore it makes the most practical sense to have signs in a language we all get.

I fully realise we are on some sort of journey at the moment to embrace more Māori culture. I get that a lot of people are on a bandwagon to promote the idea.

Some are determined to impose it upon us, hence the current pushback we are seeing.

Sadly, the debate has been derailed by the crazies who are right, because the rest of us are wrong and racist and Neanderthals.

Having road signs in another language outside English is pointless.

The point of a sign is instruction and if you don't speak the language the point is missed and wasted.

Signs also become confusing. Especially signs that need to be taken in at speed, in a car, on a road.

We all know this is woke nonsense. It’s a waste of money from an agency that really needs to spend more time, energy and money on actual roads and the disgrace they currently are.

If you like Māori language, are learning it, wanting to learn it, immersing yourself in the culture, feel you are a better person for it then all of that is good and all power to you.

But good intent, or woke bandwagons or whatever you want to call it, must not trump practicality.

A road sign is not a classroom. It is not up to a road agency to teach us something we may or may not want to learn.

Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings


Erica said...

My argument is based on consideration of the reality of the latest international reading test PERLS, which puts us at 27th in reading while in 2017 we were 18th. In 2000 we were in the top 10. Only 10% of low decile students are at the correct level. There is now a mass of semi -literate drivers, who confronted by a road sign with multiple wording will have difficulty reading what they say particularly in novel situations and at speed. "No overtaking on corners', for example is difficult enough in English for these drivers.

Turning so much of our society into a schoolroom for instruction in Maori language and culture is insane particularly while schools are playgrounds with no proper instruction in the basics.

For goodness sake get priorities sorted out.

Anonymous said...

Correct Michael. The job of the New Zealand Transport Agency is to promote safety on the roads. Having multiple signs in multiple languages will do the opposite, and risk confusing people - especially foreign visitors to our country.

This is a political and ideological initiative driven by an agency whose name I can't (and have no wish to) pronounce, and whose mission is to promote the use of the maori language.

Let's keep the two things quite separate, as they should be, and focus on making traffic signs clear, legible, non-confusing and in a language we ALL speak.

Anna Mouse said...

NZTA have a mandate to affirm the culture and the language.

I for one cannot fathom why this agency would have that sort of mandate which should fall into the Maori Affairs arena where, you know the culture and language can be affirmed....

That said, they do and sadly this is at the expense of their actual mandate to fix and maintain road infrastructure.

I look at this as the contiuance of the tail wagging the dog virtue signalling to keep the votes from 16% of the population for Labour and nothing more.

It is simply identity politics writ on large road signs. Just another divide and divide again from Labour.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to the day when Waka Kotahi is gone and we have NZTA again. It may take a while but it probably will happen with all the dogs hearing the whistle who are over this crap. It will probably need quite a high redundancy rate of managers but hey, whatever it takes.
Notice everything that CL is reported to have said gets called dog whistling? Or racism. That's all our useless PM can think of.

Peter Young said...

It seems that while we are under considerable financial pressure from all quarters, we are on a mission to waste as much money as we can, especially if a skerrick of virtue can be attached to it. This is truly a stupid idea but, I'm sure the gerrymandered 'consultation' process will win out. I do hope that all those who support this proposal have to publicly put their names to it. These fools need to be identified.

Rob Beechey said...

Well said Mike. This renaming project has been purposely launched to piss the majority of the New Zealand population off. It’s all part of the secret agenda, hidden from the voters, at the last deceitful election.

Anonymous said...

Woke pandering ONE
Road safety NIL

Anonymous said...

Good one Mike. The best argument against this nonsense, and the one which cannot logically be used to impute racism, is just that drivers might be unable to assimilate the sign’s meaning in the few moments they have, if they have to scan twice as many words, half of which are essentially foreign. The sole purpose of a road sign is to get the message across; and the remit of a road-sign maker is to do that as effectively as possible.

Anonymous said...

Virtue signaling again.
I thought we had got past that nonsense with Ardern gone.
If you can't read signs in English then you probably shouldn't be on our roads.

Anonymous said...

well said mike couldnt agree more, keep up the good work

Jim said...

You are totally right, Mike!

Anonymous said...

Wellington City very recently had a Councillor hell bent on changing “all and sundry” to Māori. She is now employed by the Labour Party. My money is the push to change road signs originates here.

Erica said...

That's exactly right, Anonymous. That's why I am advocating a dedicated effort in teaching reading and not turn people into cripples who can't safely participate in all of society. I have parents telling me their kids can speak Maori well but can't read English nor Maori.

Anonymous said...

I live in a road that has a Māori name. Always have to spell it when giving my address for anything.
I am so looking forward to it having an English name but oh dear I cant find the English meaning in Māori translation dictionaries.

Don said...

Just another example of how a tiny elite group within a minority is bullying the majority (and most of the minority.) Road signs need to be taken in at a glance. Distraction by puzzling a non-language word is a threat to road safety. Waka kotahi should stick to what is implied by its name - canoes.

Anonymous said...

To get a driver's license in New Zealand you must be able to read English.

This fact makes a nonsense of the Government's plan to spend millions of dollars on bilingual signs in Maori and English.

It must also either double the size of the signs or halve the size of the lettering of the message and neither option is a sound idea.

Anonymous said...

South Africa has 11 official languages. The road signs are in English. If the can embrace (one of) the colonisers' language, why not NZ?

Bryan Johnson said...

Countries providing road signage in other languages is to assist travellers who are not conversant with the local language and help them drive safely. I cannot envisage a single visitor to New Zealand who does not read English but is conversant with teReo

Anonymous said...

New Zealand is dependent on Tourism and Agriculture for much income.
Quality roads for visitors and farmers should be the priority.
By including a limited language on signage will not be useful to eight billion people worldwide.

Anonymous said...

And who wants this renaming??
The people who are going to pay for it??
Nope, WE, the taxpayers.
I have been in Madagascar and looked around ( driven by a Madagascar driver)
The roads are in a dismal state.
WHY ?? simple!! Corruption !!
Does NZ wants to go the same way??
It looks to me . YES !!

Anonymous said...

I recommend to paint them out - the Maori words-as they are put up - Use spray paint. This will bruise a few Maori egos -that is all.

Anon said...

Sad thing is that there are young Māori now that don't have a good grasp of English, hense the suggestion recently that some of our apprenticeships need to be taught in Te Reo, although that is also another blind ally...