Monday, May 20, 2013

Palmie...or Manawatu City?

Jim Quixote
Palmerston North deputy mayor Jim Jefferies is publically jousting with his own personal windmill again.
In 1998, Jefferies - not even a councillor then - suggested the city should change its name to better reflect its identity. He proposed Manawatu City, and has restarted the debate as deputy mayor this year. Jefferies says that, as Lord Palmerston never even made it to NZ, the city shouldn't feel any loyalty to him: "I've lived here since 1982, but the name of this city has never endeared itself to me."
Manawatu City. Yea, right.
His sentiments are shared by Monty Python comic John Cleese, who described his time there as "thoroughly bloody miserable." Conversely, motoring man Jeremy Clarkson said if God had got it right, then "Jesus would have been from Palmerston North."
This ain't the first time a local political minnow has opened his/her gob and fallen in. How can we forget Otaki Community Board member Jackie Elliott, who revealed a penis fixation over the new Kapiti District logo?
Jim, if it ain't broken, why fix it? Palmerstonians have been happy with the name for over 140 years, even if you're not! The large clearing where it was established was Te Papaioeafar too monolithic a mouthful for daily use. Meanwhile Manawatu (the district) got its name from maori explorer Hau. While chasing his wife and her lover, he came across a wide river. Fearing he may not be able to cross, he cried: "Ka tu taku manawa." ("My heart stands still.").
So, if Jimbo Jefferies has his way, the city will either be named after the utterings of a cuckolded hubby...or perhaps be known as 'the home of the heart attack' ("My heart stands still")!
I can't see either suggestion pleasing John Cleese!

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