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The rea­son I think they don’t learn Ma¯ori is be­cause they’re afraid of it.’ KANOA LLOYD, LEFT

WHETHER it’s ‘‘Taw-po’’ or ‘‘Kye-cora’’, so many of us man­gle Ma¯ori place names.

Why should we make the ef­fort to get it cor­rect? Te Whainoa Te Wi­ata, a Ma¯ori-lan­guage teacher at the Univer­sity of Auck­land, puts it best.

‘‘Peo­ple don’t re­alise how im­por­tant pro­nun­ci­a­tion is to mean­ing,’’ he says. ‘‘Every place name has a story, every place name.

‘‘If you’re not us­ing that com­mu­ni­ca­tion cor­rectly, then what’s the point of open­ing your mouth?’’

Here’s just a hand­ful of the most fre­quently mispronounced places – and how they should be said (em­pha­sis in bold): TAUPO – TOE- PAW RO­TORUA – Roh- toh-roo-ah WHANGAREI – Far- ngar-ray WHANGANUI – Far- ngar-noo-ee TI­MARU – Tee- mah-ru TAU­RANGA - Toe- rung-a RE­MUERA – Reh- moo-air-uh MATAMATA – Mut­ter- mut­ter OAMARU – Aw- ah-mah-roo

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