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