Whaleoil General Debate

keep-calm-and-don-t-shoot-the-messenger-3Morning everyone, and welcome to Whaleoil’s daily General Debate post (another one called Backchat will start at 6pm). To participate you’ll need to register a free Disqus account.

There are some rules, and if there is one thing about Whaleoil that you need to know is that these rules are dispassionately and strictly enforced.


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  • George

    Reported in Stuff yesterday:

    Apparently the mispronunciation of Taranaki te reo Maori words is not good enough according to Trustee of Te Reo o Taranaki Will Edwards. He continues, “There are still small pockets of people who mispronounce Maori place names on purpose. It’s because it’s the way they have always said it, which isn’t really good enough, this was lazy and correct pronunciation was a basic level of respect”. Others, such as Nan McGaughran, blamed a lack of education in schools, She makes this astonishing claim, “I mean look what happens when you go to Europe and butcher their language, they go nuts.”

    Where does one start? There are tens of thousands of languages worldwide, Papua New Guinea has over eight hundred alone. Within each of these primary languages consists many dialects, not to mention accents. All of these languages have evolved from the stone age where their only communication was a series of grunts. There is only one purpose for language and that is to articulate communication. If two individuals can communicate successfully then the purpose of language has been fulfilled.

    If someone is going to Whakatane and I need to know, then I don’t care how they pronounce Whakatane, (or any other word in the sentence) as long as the communication is clear. If one chooses to become a student of languages, then that’s fine, but don’t tell me how to communicate, and don’t label me disrespectful should my Maori pronunciation for “get stuffed” not pass your scrutiny.

    Finally people don’t go “nuts” in Europe or Asia if you attempt to communicate in their tounge. To the contrary, they appreciate your effort and feel respected for you having tried. It appears only academic Maori go “nuts”.

    • It also ignores the issue that among Maori they have different pronunciations.

      • Woody

        Yes, the academics conveniently ignore the fact that Maori were not one people with a common language and bond, they were disparate tribes separated by time and distance, many of whom were intent on killing other tribes, in this situation it is obvious that there would be differences in language in different tribal areas, I saw this and understood the reasons why when I was still at school but sadly the “we are one sovereign nation” brigade now hold sway.

        • I guess the academic refer to the “Queen’s Maori”

          (yeah, I went there. ;)

      • justhinking

        Like the north island maori use of the ,h, whereas south island maori don,t use than eg wakatu rather than whakatu.

        • AL357

          And I understand Taranaki do not use the “h” ff sound either – listen to Tariana Turia although not Taranaki uses wh as in wish.

      • OneTrack

        I thought the different tribes took turns each year to have their promunciation used.

    • A stone age language consisting mostly of invented words.
      For as long as Maori cling to this pathetic relic of the past they are doomed to continue living in it.
      The reason Latin is no longer taught in schools is it no longer has relevance to anyone except crusty academics.
      A past its use by date language and culture should be allowed to die peacefully.

      The only value the Maori language has to Maori is it is a vehicle for troughers and taxpayer subsidies.

      • George

        I’m not sure I agree with you 100%. Preserving a language has its merits in many ways. However much depends on those who promote the sincerity of their endeavour. Demanding a culture/language be forced fed to a reluctant audience will achieve nothing. Respect of a culture/language arises from those who promote it, and sadly, most in NZ feel judged and condemed for not meeting the demands of those responsible for its promotion. We learn from those whom we respect and admire, never from the bullies.

        • Bluemanning

          Latin was good for learning other (current) languages and overall knowledge, helps in quiz nights for example. However I heard some TV programme wanting more Maori language taught in school as the language is not being used by the young and is on it’s way out. They have to want to speak it, otherwise it will die out.

        • Usaywot

          There is now a whole generation of young maori who cannot speak any language. They have no maori and their english is appalling to unintelligible. They are absolute losers. Why they speak so badly with such poor diction is beyond me. I suspect it is a “nobody’s telling me what to do” attitude. They’ve been to school, haven’t they?

          • hookerphil

            Only thoughts but could be to fit in with the “group” same as I believe many deliberately under achieve at school and/or only hear really poor language so basically almost know no better.
            Insulated by toughness, or so they think. Have a relative well up in the prison service – in their 30’s it starts to strike home that “What the hell am I doing with my life” realisation.

          • johnandali

            Some years ago when I was involved in transferring data from inmates’ files to the new computer system, I found there were almost no Maoris over the age of 35 in the prison. The older people were mainly sex offenders and non-Maori.

      • HR

        It is actually a beautiful language when spoken correctly

        • Miss McGerkinshaw

          That could be said of most languages. Each have their own individual charm – well those I’ve heard and/or spoken anyway.

        • Wheninrome

          It is all relative to the individual district pronunciation, think of the different pronunciations of english in england

    • KGB

      I am not insulted when Maori mispronounce English. I am often embarrassed by those who attempt to pronounce Maori words in the ‘correct’ way.
      TAUPO by example has become a word I barely recognise when spoken by newsreaders and weather presenters.

      • Nige.

        Especially when skin white people try and pronounce them.

      • Cadwallader

        Agree. Newsreaders in the North Island have difficulty with Oamaru. The locals pronounce it Om-aru while the weather bimbos try O-am-aru or Oooo-maroo. I recall Stephen O’Regan referring to Derbyshire as Der-bi-sha. It goes both ways but in general most Kiwis do their best. Who now pronounces Paraparaumu as Paraparam?

        • MaryLou

          Me. Dammit, I’m not changing.

          • KGB

            Lazy & incorrect MaryLou:)
            By the way I lived in Kopcop. No-one says Kaukapakapa unless they’ve lived there for about 5 minutes.

          • rua kenana

            Do you mean Cowcop? I never lived there but spent a few years within about 10 km and was reasonably familiar with how the locals of the wider area referred it.

          • MaryLou

            But KGB, I say it with fondness and good memories, and grew up with it that way. Consider my version an affectionate abbreviation and it’ll all be ok. Like saying “Pete” instead of Peter. Or Bob, instead of Robert.

          • Wheninrome

            When I lived in the vicinity 50 plus years ago it was referred to as cowcoppa

      • Mick Ie

        What is the ‘correct’ pronunciation and does it depend on Maori regional dialects? Some tribes use/add/province the ‘H’ in WH’ as ‘F’, others don’t. If they can’t agree, how can they demand the rest of the country speak as they do? How doesTaupo read Phonetically? Too-Poo? It does have those very nice public toilet facilities, after all.

        • AL357

          I haven’t been to (or in a) torpor for a while!

        • Mike Webber

          If there had been a f in the Maori language it would have been written as such by the missionaries who were the first to write it down as it sounded. Wh is meant to be pronounced as wha. This turning wh to f is a new politically correct nonsense.

    • Nige.

      It’s really all just for show and bravado.

    • Left Right Out

      The english language has been butchered to hell…. especially with that txt speak rubbish yet I don’t hear howls of condemnation about that

    • Aucky

      If there was a level of reciprocation then maybe I would care. But there isn’t. Everyday I hear my native language (our main official language) butchered, mumbled and misspelt on a regular basis. Until then Otahuhu remains Oaterhoo and not Oatarhoohoo.

      The sycophantic faux Maori pronunciations used by the media drives me nuts.

    • idbkiwi

      Agree George, let’s not be language snobs.

      But, having said that, it drives me crazy listening to the PC nongs on Red Radio every single morning, specifically; the weather forecast for a place called sometimes Fongonui and otherwise Farnga-nui. I shout at them, “It’s Wanganui dullards”, but they never hear me, “the “h” is silent, just like in “what the….” For their edification, they could listen to the experts:

      “Nga Ingoa o Aotearoa (or Ngā Ingoa o Aotearoa) is an oral dictionary of New Zealand Maori (Māori) placename pronunciations, recorded in 1984-94. The speakers are 132 elders and experts of each area”. Track 20 at 2.55′


    • Raibert

      Your last two sentences are absolutely correct. Every where we have travelled we have tried to at least use the basic words in whatever language was appropriate. Never have we been criticised for our pronunciation, most people will encourage and correct you, some will make a joke of your attempt but never in a negative way.
      Maori academics should get over themselves and stop pushing this agenda of hate.

    • Eiselmann

      In my travels I have made a dogs breakfest of my , admittedly, very limited German, and even worst attempts at my more limited French, once saying ‘ a river’ instead of ‘au revoir’. I have discovered that even the French who are very protective of their language will smile , figure out what I said or meant to say and move on.

      I’ve only had my pronunciation corrected when it comes to Maori.

      Know don’t get me wrong I do think a decent effort should be made to pronounce names and words however to have this constant correction , normally done in public and as a condemnation has meant that I actually avoid using Maori words , particularly in front of Maori because you just never know if a loud and pointed correction is coming. And thats actually a shame because its a language thats part of our daily lives.

      I should add that while my pronunciation of English is far from perfect, the Maori who have corrected my pronunciation of Te Reo have invariably been butchering english with almost every utterance, would they welcome constant correction, unlikely.

    • Damon Mudgway

      Spot on George. I have only one thing to say in reply:
      Tin of cocoa, car door.

  • Cadwallader

    The agents research buyers routinely. The primary purpose of an “open-home” is not to advance any prospective sale of that house but to record those who come to inspect. This gives the agents knowledge of buyers in a market to allow them to refer other properties, suitable or not, to those buyers. All of this is conducted at the expense of an uninformed vendor. The best, and most efficient way to buy/sell property is to exclude the agents and do it directly with the vendors. Never forget: The only time anyone may lose money on a house is when it is sold.

    • Mags

      Hmm. I’d say when you sell is when you liquidate the loss but when you purchase is when you set the loss or gain in process.
      The agent had 24 hours to do research on us. Maybe the auctioneers wording was coincidence as he probably is a great observer of people. Gave me the creeps anyway.

  • Hmmmm

    • Dumrse

      Take a screen shot before it gets removed by whomever for whatever reason

  • colin herbertson

    So in Australia the Victorian attorney general Martin Pakula has decided to appoint a muslim lady named Urfa Masood as a magistrate.
    While he’s busy calling people who are saying it’s a bad idea bigots and haters it hasn’t seemed to occur to him that it will be a court where you swear an oath on a Bible which is presided over by a member of a religion that actively oppresses and kills Christians.
    and everyone’s supposed to respect this?

    • Not that your point isn’t valid, but don’t people have an option to swear on other ‘holy’ books as well?

      • Cadwallader

        These days you don’t have to swear on anything…simply affirm.

      • colin herbertson

        True, you could probably even swear on a koran if you want, but most people would choose a Bible. Even though courts are more secular these days you can bet they wouldn’t dare tell her she can’t wear that religious head gear.

    • Mick Ie

      Is she Sunni or Shia or the type of Muslim that the Sunni and Shia murder for being perceived as non-believers? If she is one of the former, under Islam, for her, there is no divide between Religion and State. How will she be able to preside over and enforce Western laws when they are the antithesis of everything she believes in?

  • sandalwood789

    A very good post here about the puzzling attitude to Islam by left-wingers –

    Quote –

    “Freedom of speech: Sharia does not allow anybody to say anything negative about Mohammed and Allah.

    Freedom of the press: Mohammed cartoons.

    Freedom of religion: An apostate from Islam can be killed. Even an atheist wants people to be free to choose what they believe.

    Civil rights: all non-Muslims are Kafirs, who are third class subjects under Sharia law.

    Democratic society: A Kafir does not have the same rights as a Muslim under Islam.

    Secular governments: Secular is not Sharia. Islamic government is a theocracy.

    Why do liberals and progressives defend an Islam that will destroy all they find so valuable? “

    • OneTrack

      What makes you think leftists and progressives value freedom of speech? They only think that they should be able to say what they want.

      • sandalwood789

        You’re right (of course). I was just quoting the website.
        As you’ve pointed out, lefties are *hugely* hypocritical. They go on and on about “gay rights” but ignore Islam’s killing of gay people.
        They go on and on about “women’s rights” but ignore the lowly status and bad treatment of women in Islam.

    • JohnO

      The left wing do want to control everyone. If and when the evil empire of Islam does take over the west the first ones to become imams and enforcers of Islamic orthodoxy and repression will be the left wingers. They are naturals for it.

  • Curly1952

    For all you old rugby tragics out there – this will have you chuckling, nodding your head and very nostalgic (not sure backs will under stand though)

    A Poem for old rugby players………..

    When the battle scars have faded
    And the truth becomes a lie
    And the weekend smell of liniment
    Could almost make you cry.

    When the last rucks well behind you
    And the man that ran now walks
    It doesn’t matter who you are
    The mirror sometimes talks

    Have a good hard look old son!
    The melons not that great
    The snoz that takes a sharp turn sideways
    Used to be dead straight

    You’re an advert for arthritis
    You’re a thoroughbred gone lame
    Then you ask yourself the question
    Why the hell you played the game?

    Was there logic in the head knocks?
    In the corks and in the cuts?
    Did common sense get pushed aside?
    By manliness and guts?

    Do you sometimes sit and wonder
    Why your time would often pass
    In a tangled mess of bodies
    With your head up someone’s……?

    With a thumb hooked up your nostril
    Scratching gently on your brain
    And an overgrown Neanderthal
    Rejoicing in your pain!

    Mate – you must recall the jersey
    That was shredded into rags
    Then the soothing sting of Dettol
    On a back engraved with tags!

    It’s almost worth admitting
    Though with some degree of shame
    That your wife was right in asking
    Why the hell you played the game?

    Why you’d always rock home legless
    Like a cow on roller skates
    After drinking at the clubhouse
    With your low down drunken mates

    Then you’d wake up – check your wallet
    Not a solitary coin
    Drink Berocca by the bucket
    Throw an ice pack on your groin

    Copping Sunday morning sermons
    About boozers being losers
    While you limped like Quasimodo
    With a half a thousand bruises!

    Yes – an urge to hug the porcelain
    And curse Sambuca’s name
    Would always pose the question
    Why the hell you played the game!

    And yet with every wound re-opened
    As you grimly reminisce it
    Comes the most compelling feeling yet
    God, you bloody miss it!

    From the first time that you laced a boot
    And tightened every stud
    That virus known as rugby
    Has been living in your blood

    When you dreamt it when you played it
    All the rest took second fiddle
    Now you’re standing on the sideline
    But your hearts still in the middle

    And no matter where you travel
    You can take it as expected
    There will always be a breed of people
    Hopelessly infected

    If there’s a teammate, then you’ll find him
    Like a gravitating force
    With a common understanding
    And a beer or three, of course

    And as you stand there telling lies
    Like it was yesterday old friend
    You’ll know that if you had the chance
    You’d do it all again

    You see – that’s the thing with rugby
    It will always be the same
    And that, I guarantee
    Is why the hell you played the game!

    • hookerphil

      Great poem to read on a perfect autumn afternoon – just right for going down and having a look at the local club game.

  • Nige.

    As far as ads go this one is one of the best I have seen in a long time.


    • MaryLou

      Very clever – loved the first Nova ad too, although I’m the only one in this house who did!

      • Nige.

        No. That one sucked. This one was way better.

        • MaryLou

          I laughed every time at those ads… and pointed out the cleverness to anyone who’d listen!

          Dover, Rover.

      • Miss McGerkinshaw

        Only ever seen this one (do all my TV viewing with on demand) but enjoy it every time it comes on.

  • Greg M

    Bacon eggs and beer for lunch, perfect. (Pic)

    • Asian_driver

      Are you in hospital ? Food looks the same, maybe its not as bad as they are saying

      • goodwitheu

        Woa woa woa, you don’t make inferences on a man or his woman’s cooking.