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Turia describes H decision as uplifting

Turia describes H decision as uplifting
Friday 18 December 2009; 11.50am
Hon Tariana Turia, Member of Parliament for Te Tai Hauauru

He iti te pū, he nui te kōrero. Ka haere kotahi tātou ki te pūaotanga o te tau hou i runga i tō tatou tino rangatiratanga.

[One small letter can mean so much. Let us all look forward to the dawning of a new year and the emergence of our collective self-determination].

Local Member of Parliament for Te Tai Hauauru, Tariana Turia, has described the decision of the Minister for Land Information to protect and promote the correct spelling of Whanganui as uplifting.

“I want to mihi to Te Runanga o Tupoho, and Whanganui iwi, who have been patiently, persistently encouraging Crown agencies to include the “h” in the name, explaining that the name it is meaningless without it. Their valiant efforts have been rewarded with this decision today”.

“It is time for all of us to move on, together, to ensure that the integrity of the language is upheld and that we can all be proud of the name given to this area by an ancestor over six hundred years ago”.

Mrs Turia considers the spelling of place names and the correct use of te reo Maori is part of the ongoing negotiation and reconciliation between Maori, Government and communities.

“I like the approach, which encourages Crown Agencies to respect the special relationship that mana whenua have with this area, while also allowing time for the practical changes to occur – the letterhead to change, new signs to be erected”.

“I am relaxed about the transition process” said Mrs Turia. “We have seen that over time, the mountain is referred to as Taranaki rather than Mt Egmont; or Aoraki instead of Mount Cook”.

"And I acknowledge we need time to rebuild our relationships. The community was polarised by this debate – now is the time for us to come together as people of Whanganui, to celebrate our magnificent river and our wonderful town”.

ENDS

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