I can’t believe how stupid people are thinking for one moment that the residents who live in the area would be OK with this ridiculous idea. I understand that it was originally named Remutaka by a Maori Chief ( Haunuiananaia, who lived in southern Taranaki) but today very few people know the full story and I’m guessing that most people don’t really care either. I don’t believe that this in any way rights the wrongs done in the past to the Maori people but would in fact turn people against them. Why not put up plaques telling the story and perhaps publishing it instead of wasting money and time by changing the name. I have no problem with the Maori people but just think that there is a better way of dealing with this issue.
I would like to include a letter to the editor that appeared in the Dominion Post 30 April 2014
Maori Spelling Debate Meaningless
Again we read the largely futile arguments about how a word in Maori should be spelled. The principal reason such arguments arise is because Maori was not a written language, with no indication as to how vowel sounds should be exactly depicted in print. English missionaries, William Colenso among them, recorded Maori as they heard it and given the variety of pronunciations of vowels among speakers of English and Maori, it is not surprising differences are apparent.
Besides, English vowel sounds as spoken today are likely to be different from what they were nearly 200 years ago.
There is no way to know for sure how a name such as Rimutaka should be ”correctly” spelled, because there is no ”correct” spelling; only what should be an accepted orthography based on the vowel sounds as transliterated into the Greco-Roman alphabet, aided also by what the name actually meant.
One could also ask why, after so many years with the name apparently being satisfactorily accepted as spelled, is it only now giving rise to anguish and confusion?
Let me know what you think by voting or leaving a comment below.