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Media’s Role in Wanganui/Whanganui Debate

Chester Borrows
Whanganui National Party MP
18 December 2009

Media’s Role in Wanganui/Whanganui Debate

“National broadcasting media can play their part in the education of New Zealanders with respect to the pronunciation of Whanganui/Wanganui, but I hope they do this responsibly” says Whanganui MP Chester Borrows.

“Regardless of the spelling of the city - with or without an ‘h’ - the pronunciation is the same.”

“Those 80% of referendum respondent’s big fear is that people wanting to be correct in Te Reo will pronounce our city as ‘Fonganui’. In difference to the majority of iwi using the ‘wh’ as an ‘f’ sound, Whanganui and Taranaki iwi have never done this, and so essentially the pronunciation remains the same.”

“To have national media presenters reading the news or weather and talking about ‘Fonganui’ will cause further friction.”

“No one likes having their name mispronounced – whether it is done out of malice or ignorance. It would help if the media could get it right for the people of Wanganui.”


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