What isn’t in a name? Plenty

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

What is it that drives peo­ple, or­gan­i­sa­tions ( and places) to sud­denly change a name they’ve lived with for a very long time.

Es­pe­cially when it’s a widely recog­nised la­bel for who they are and what they do?

The clas­sic past de­ci­sion was the scrap­ping of Auck­land’s wellestab­lished and to­tally ac­cu­rate ‘‘City of Sails’’ with a sym­bol to match.

I know what the lat­est messy flower badge looks like but what’s the classy and pos­si­bly in­ap­pro­pri­ate name of the not-so-su­per-city th­ese days?

And how many thou­sands did it cost to dis­card reams of let­ter­head sta­tionery, etc?

Now it’s Tele­com. As it relaunches un­der its new la­bel, who will be the first to point out to the Spark man­age­ment that they risk con­fu­sion with na­tional Sparc, the sports and re­cre­ation ad­min­is­tra­tion?

The ear­lier Sparc switch was an­other in­fu­ri­at­ing name change.

Ac­cord­ing to the out­dated web­site, the change to Sparc ‘‘in­cor­po­rated the func­tions of the Hil­lary Com­mis­sion, the New Zealand Sports Foun­da­tion and the sport pol­icy arm of the Of­fice of Tourism and Sport … the old Hil­lary Sport site will re­main avail­able while we up­date and move con­tent over to the new site’’.

I’ve never for­given the over­s­mart batch of ex­perts who shoul­dered the Hil­lary Com­mis­sion ti­tle aside and went into an un­ex­plained re­birth.

Would any other or­gan­i­sa­tion in the world have dis­carded the use of the name of one of the world’s great men and pasted it over with Sparc Sport or some­thing ob­scure?

The old, familiar and te­dious Tele­com would have been wiser to have used how many thou­sand dol­lars the name change cost to do some­thing about the hor­ren­dous wait­ing time that faces its cus­tomers want­ing help with con­tin­u­ous prob­lems get­ting into the in­ter­net – some­times an hour or more.

equally as

Talk­ing about names, I trea­sure an op­por­tu­nity I had to light a small fire un­der Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Af­ter she met Ed Hil­lary in Nepal, she ad libbed on how her mother had called her af­ter him.

Dis­be­liev­ing, I checked the Clin­ton birth date – Oc­to­ber 26, 1947. Ed’s Ever­est climb was in June, 1953.

Ei­ther she had made it up or she had had a very late bap­tism at six!

Some­how, the New York Times picked up my col­umn ref­er­ence – and re­pub­lished it. A first for Subur­ban News­pa­pers.

The world has be­come too small to fib and get away with it. In the mail­bag:

‘‘It was great to read your col­umn re­gard­ing the pa­per trail that we both­er­some res­i­dents like to have with our rates printed in black and white.

‘‘Al­though I have a fam­ily mem­ber who pays our bills on­line, I pre­fer pa­per as a backup.

‘‘Like you, I live ru­rally and the non­sense at­tached to the de­mand invit­ing us to use the train, etc, is ex­actly that – non­sense and a feel good for Mr Brown and com­mit­tee.

‘‘Per­haps less di­a­tribe would re­sult in less pa­per in the en­ve­lope! And if they re­ally want to be en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly, stop the ob­ses­sion with mow­ing mo­tor­way berms (plant wild­flow­ers) and stop spray­ing ru­ral road­sides with chem­i­cals. Nei­ther of th­ese prac­tices are ben­e­fi­cial to hu­mans or the en­vi­ron­ment.

‘‘Len Brown, there’s more than Brown Town! I won­der if you know where the Puhoi River is yet?’’ – Dei­dre Mar­beck An­other ques­tion worth ask­ing: ‘‘Have some New Zealan­ders lost their minds?

‘‘The de­ci­sion to put a model of a state house on an Auck­land wharf must surely be a joke that some mind­less per­son took se­ri­ously!

‘‘For goodness sake – some­one with some au­thor­ity please do some­thing to stop this non­sense be­fore it hap­pens.

‘‘We will be the laugh­ing stock of the world! Surely one of our talented peo­ple can come up with some­thing more rel­e­vant to this beau­ti­ful coun­try of ours.

‘‘Please some­one, do some­thing to stop this id­iocy.’’

– Ngaire Hig­gins

Sir Ed: ‘‘I’ve never for­given the over-smart batch of ex­perts who shoul­dered the Hil­lary Com­mis­sion ti­tle aside and went into an un­ex­plained re­birth’’ – Pat Booth.

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