Your correspondent Greg Hawkins criticises the pronunciation of Waitemat¯a by announcer Wendy Petrie because she makes it sound like tar at the end. While Waitemat¯a may have been pronounced ‘Waituhmatter’ for years, I believe her version is correct.
Today many organisations and books are showing M¯aori words with macrons (the little line over the top of a Maori vowel) to help with more faithful rendition of the language.
The name actually means Te Mat¯a waters and refers to a rock (Boat Rock) which lies in the harbour channel just off Kauri Pt near the Chelsea sugar refinery. According to legend, it was named by Tamatekapua, chief of the Arawa waka who placed a sacred rock called Te Mat¯a on it, judging it a very auspicious place owing to all the fish. John Clark, Glen Eden.