Saturday, July 6, 2013

Leave Bonnie Alone, Bro!

It must be Maori Language Week again.
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!


Rihari Wilson said...

Surely Bernie Rodwell's response to "Kia ora" was excessive (I probably mean "OTT" for "Over the top", but that might well offend someone) Her reaction, in turn, provoked a significant overreaction. I may be insensitive but I certainly would not be offended by "Kia ora", from a New Zealander nor by "Cyfarchion i chi", which is a lot harder, from anyone in Wales.

as72 said...

hang on a sec!
1, the tv presenters do pronounce placenames correctly.
2, "most viewers can't understand a "suddenly-changed" placename on the weather MAP? ouch! how dumb do you think New Zealanders are? "duh... that place what used to be called Invercargill I just can't understand now it's uhhh, Waihopi" yeah we are a nation with IQ's of a 3 year old.

BTW, Maori is one of our official languages. English, Maori and Sign language. So to get some perspective: while I might not use Sign Language myself, or anyone else in my office, if someone came in to my work and greeted me with a signed hello, what kind of a jerk would I be to find it offensive!? (Clue: a massive one).

Writer Of The Purple Sage said...

Dear as72:

You - like many - seem to have missed Bonnie's point.
She NEVER said she found "kia ora" offensive. She said - as neither she nor her staff used the phrase - she found its use "silly".

That maori is one of our official languages does NOT mean the nation should be force-fed it in a week-long annual tokenism.

And the fact that its usage is declining, EVEN THOUGH NZ THROWS OVER $200 MILLION EACH YEAR TO PROP IT UP, says soooo much...

Anonymous said...

“Kia Ora bro” as I understand you this is how it rolls, if you play the individualistic card this gives licence for Miss Bonnie to; decide who can and can’t began an email with "Kia ora ..." least of all “an Irishwoman that doesn't understand, really, the Maori language,” she also believes because “Neither myself or [my office manager] speak Maori.” that to begin an email with "Kia ora ..." is disrespectful, and “we find it plain silly."
Miss Rodwell curiously says “I love Maoris, I spent a lot of time with them when I was young… I'll always greet a Maori with kia ora and I'll rub noses with a Maori." Which it seems qualifies her to judge another person’s (government departments) freedom to use "Kia ora” she can also classify it as “tourism slang”, and lastly she is qualified to say to individuals in government departments “Why don't they understand real Maoridom and stop using it (Kia Ora).”
Bro this is more than tit-for-tat triviality, the camouflaging trump card of individualistic own viewpoint is starting to reek of historical monoculture institutionalised rhetoric. Miss Rodwell needs to understand alongside her freedom of viewpoint is a social contract that protects her and others inalienable rights within that contract, her viewpoint is appreciated and accepted, none-the-less in terms of social acceptable norms as society moves beyond the “isms” of differentiation her viewpoint will be cast in the margins especially in Aotearoa.
As a unique oasis in the pacific, we are a bicultural country with a multicultural population, and becoming more enriched as we become bilingual. “Kia Ora” is not a sacred cash cow used in ignorance by those who need to be in vogue, rather it used, and driven by reciprocation, by children, grandchildren… an so on of those who are taking responsibility for past inequity, and injustices, these see a common coming together of histories, a progressive present, and socially acceptable bilingual future.
Bro I can only surmise below your sarcasm lies freedom of viewpoint and not some more sinister ethos, but I can say ‘Your wrong’ “Kia Ora” nor the Māori language is intrinsically sacred it’s like any other cultural language a medium of communication. What it does represent is a politicised movement based on the Ti Tiriti o Waitangi, whereby the renascence, reclamation, and revitalisation of a treasured form of communication, the Maori language has reverberated on these islands for millennia it is an extension and conveyer of the encoded worldview (truths), beliefs (reality), and behaviours (practice) of Māori culture.
As such “Kia Ora” has become a catchcry in the Māori language revitalisation movement, its common use, and occurrence resonating cross-cultural acceptance, and at least social contract tolerance. Julia de Bres research titled ‘Attitudes of non-Māori New Zealanders towards the use of Māori in New Zealand English’ highlights sensitively social ignorance, or social intolerance on both sides’ meaning that movement stagnates without social cohesion to push it forward.
(Māori language policymaker) Tipene Chrisp commented that ‘I have noted a tendency among some people to use more and more Māori words in English sentences … the intention is admirable, but ironically all that is happening is the English lexicon is being extended.’ (Bres, 2012, p. 12)
A striking point, the bastardising of Māori? But Tipene Chrisps’ point is taken ‘admirable’ this seems where the locus of attitudes and behaviours are the salient effectual barriers toward Māori language regeneration, acceptance!! Kia Ora again Bro.

Carlos, Tauranga said...

Oh jeez!
Reading this response made me wanna puke up all over my copy of "How To Survive As A Whitey In A Brown-Arse-Licking World"!!!
Listen to this TRIPE: "...the camouflaging trump card of individualistic own viewpoint is starting to reek of historical monoculture institutionalised rhetoric."
Well, wot does THIS reek of, but 'maori radical university-educated by whitey cash, and now spouting BROWN institutionalised rhetoric in a glorious politically correct manner"!
If this womin doesn't wanna have "Kia Ora" said to her, what's the harm in that?
As for "As a unique oasis in the pacific, we are a bicultural country with a multicultural population, and becoming more enriched as we become bilingual", where does this come from? NZ is NOT unique and we sure aren't a utopia-like oasis where a glorious PC racially-harmonious happy-clappy meltingpot society skips merrily down the lane, hand in hand. Many whites don't like browns. Many browns don't like whites. One person's culture must not be shoved down another's throat if they don't like it. Is that written in the law? No, it bloody isn' RACK OFF!!
"Those who are taking responsibility for past inequity, and injustices..." are bending over backwards to pay millions of dollars the country can't afford, to placate some whinging bludgers over something that may/may not have happened decades back. Do the moriori have a similar case against maori? You bet your sweet brown arse they do!
"The maori language has reverberated on these islands for millennia..." - bullshit! Academia acknowledge that the brown brethren only arrived here about 600 years ago, not millenia. Let's stay on track.
Tjhat damn treaty should have been burnt years ago. It has caused far too much trouble in NZ that it's not worth the paper it was scrawled upon by illiterate natives who were merely using it as a means to an end, not a coming together of cultures with a positive view towards forming a co-operative approach to a future!
As for the "regeneration" of maori language, if it was done WITHOUT the multi-million dollar annual support by hardworking kiwis, perhaps we'd all be much happier, and further along the road to a future together.

Anonymous said...

Carlos, your ignorance is overwhelming. Do you think that Maori (such as myself) have no right to attend university? (I paid for this myself, by the way). Do you seriously think that you are the only person who contributes to taxes? You talk of culture being rammed down your throat, but I doubt you were physically punished at school for not speaking English or that you suffered the loss of your language through colonialism. Moriori were a tribe of pacifist Maori; we spoke the same language, were genetically the same and shared many of the same customs; you must have gained your 'knowledge' from a very early, and incorrect source many years ago. That you perpetuate these myths only solidifies your ignorance and unwillingness to learn. Te Tiriti O Waitangi should, perhaps, be nullified. Maori would then require the bounty taken by colonisers back and you could return to whatever shithole your family originally came from.