Why? Well, for one, the suddenly-changed placenames on the weather map can't be pronounced by the tv presenters or understood by most viewers...and two, because a minor story about a maori greeting has rocked the nation!
It all began when Gary Cody's company Travel NZ sent an email seeking advertising, to Queenstown retailer Bonnie Rodwell, which began "Kia ora". She replied: "Sorry but why do we need to be addressed with "kia ora"? Neither myself or my office manager speak maori. Maybe more people would advertise with you if we were addressed with a little more respect. Whilst it may be a great government issue (and perhaps a little 'in vogue'), some of us, in private businesses that support NZ, find it offensive. Whilst we have no issue with anything 'maori' at all, we find it plain silly." *shock*horror*probe* How DARE anyone criticise the sacred culture!
Gary Cody - who claims he was gobsmacked by the response...yes, "gobsmacked"! - can't believe someone relying on tourism is offended by the phrase. So, tit-for-tat, he's complained to the Race Relations Commissioner!
Media ran amok, and some precious pup even started a Facebook page encouraging others to bombard Bonnie by postcard, email or phone and share the 'kindness of kia ora'. Such orchestrated invasion of privacy is even less acceptable than wasting the Commissioner's time with such triviality. I trust this complaint is treated with the disdain it deserves.
But maybe the tide's turning back towards common sense: there seemed to be more in favour of Bonnie's right to her own viewpoint, than those gobsmacked that someone might not LUV te reo.
People need to get a serious grip. Some men don't like "G'day, mate"; some women hate being called "ma'am". If someone doesn't wish to be greeted with "kia ora", what's the harm in that?
Oh, I see now: the greeting is MAORI. Therefore we must all embrace it with gusto. Of course. Silly me. I stand corrected. Chuuurrr, cuz!