Mispronouncing place names simply lazy
I believe your correspondent Kevin Tidmarsh is absolutely wrong in his assertion that New Zealanders have developed an “easy” way to pronounce Ma¯ori place names and that should be accepted by all as okay.
What it is, is lazy.
Just imagine, if a New Zealander went abroad with the same approach as suggested by Mr Tidmarsh, the way they spoke could very possibly be deemed insulting to those in whose country they landed, if indeed they could understand what was being said in the first place.
I believe that if you are going to consider living in another country as I did 40 odd years ago when I came here from Australia, you should make a concerted effort to absorb as much of the culture of that land’s people as possible.
That includes learning how to pronounce the native language of that place correctly.
After all this time it still makes me cringe to hear New Zealand’s newsreaders in particular butcher Australian place names because it’s lazier . . . oops, sorry, I meant “easier to pronounce”.