it is Whanganui – no debate.

Open letter to Mic( )ael Laws and more or less the whole city of Whanganui.


some time ago when I was a young ideological student in the late 1980’s I watched with absolute horror at the country and it’s frenzy to keep the Homosexual Law Reform Bill from passing. So fervent was the opposition, that nearly 80% of the country was opposed to the bill, hundreds of thousands of people signed the petition – so impassioned was the opposition they even managed to get Mickey Mouse to sign the petition. This was a moral campaign.

Skip a couple of years watching a Spike Lee movie. The most memorable moment in the movie to me was when the father was teaching the son that the most important thing in the world is respect. Respect for fellow human beings leads to greater understanding and empathy. Despite all of the racial mayhem going on around them, the father was taking the time to teach the child this most wonderful and basic of human traits – respect.

Fast forward to Wanganui 2009. Same impassioned people, same fervent opposition, to yet another seemingly non issue. I care not one bit for your opposition to the name of the city being returned to it’s correct spelling. I care that the somewhat ‘majority’ of the people have been conned into thinking that disrespecting the local indigenous people is a good state to be in.

It is very simple, the name of the River and the city includes the H, without it, it is meaningless, further it is disrespectful. It says, we know this is how it should be spelt, but we don’t care, your language and mana whenua mean nothing to us. Just as Micael Laws without the H is meaningless, so is Whanganui.

I always mistook you for someone with a level of reason and intelligence, however seemingly backing oneself into a corner with no way out often results in intrenched opinions at the detriment of rational debate. The respect that I once held for you would easily be found again, if you showed the local IWI that very same respect and gave them their name back. Hundred year old injustices don’t need to be perpetuated in New Zealand 2009. Just as our elected officials took the less popular approach and bought Homosexuality into the public realm with dignity, as should the elected officials in the case of the correct spelling of the city Whanganui

Thank you very much for your time sir.


Filed under Confused, Culture, economics, Hot Air, Media, Policy, Politics

3 responses to “it is Whanganui – no debate.

  1. Anon

    The debate over what was Maori land or possession has been going for far too long – especially when Maori simply settled here themselves. You are just as native as anyone in New Zealand, and everyone should enjoy exactly the same rights and responsibilities when it comes to the preservation and passing on of all our heritage, culture and history.

    I was considering saying ‘Ka pai’ for the great use of English, however as the Maori language is under your control, I wondered if I was allowed to say such a thing without express permission from my whatever power has been established to administer such rights. I came to the conclusion that it was safer to simply say congratulations.

    However surely if such a power has been appointed, then funds have been provided by your people to ensure your culture, land and language is upheld – not money from tax payers who may rather see their money go towards goals they will be able to see and use. I doubt the average tax payer will want their hard earned money paying for the upkeep of land and facilities that not only will they never see, but may not even be allowed on.

    Another example of this lies in the health system, where additional funding is often provided for Maori health programs to try and recover the mess your people have become – with excessive use of drugs,tobacco and alcohol not to mention the simple case of obesity. Yes, all races suffer from these problems, but it is only Maori who are being given exra funding. Why the discrimination?

    Perhaps when Maori youth are being taught to follow their heritage and culture, not the imported culture of overseas gangs. Perhaps when all Maori can speak their own language and respect their elders. Perhaps when Maori are seen to work for what they have as their ancestors did. And perhaps when the Maori people stop discriminating against us white people. Then perhaps we will consider changing one of our historical place names to suit you.

    Until then, save your culture, heritage and language amongst your own people where it should be strongest. That would be a much better use of your time.

  2. who the fuck is “your” white boy?

    Im as honky french/scotts european as the rest.

    As for the rest, boy are you confused.

  3. Zeitgeist

    Thank you so much anon for your kind gifts of taxes thats really neat of you. Now can maori please have the same rights as you. I promise we,ll be good.. Honest.. Tania.

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