top of page

Subscribe Form

Thanks for submitting!


DAVID FARRAR: Luxon is absolutely right

1 News reports:

Christopher Luxon says he was told by some Kiwis on the campaign trail they “didn’t know” the difference between Waka Kotahi, Te Pūkenga and Te Whatu Ora.

Speaking to Breakfast, the incoming prime minister said having English first on government agencies will “make sure” people “understand” what agencies are and what they do.

“For some of us, it’s quite straight forward, but for many New Zealanders, they didn’t understand that.”

Luxon said if people “can’t understand” their government agency, let alone hold them accountable, that is a “big problem”.

The media tone is sceptical of the claim, but this probably more reflects how out of touch much of the media is. Over three months I polled 1,000 NZers on whether they knew the English name of various government agencies, using their Te Reo name. I published the results on my Patreon in August, and reproduce it here now:

“At the suggestion of a subscriber Curia in June, July and August has asked 1,000 New Zealanders if they know the English name of various government agencies in Te Reo. We now have results for six agencies:

  1. Manatū Hauora, Ministry of Health: 8.1%

  2. Te Manatū Waka, Ministry of Transport: 7.7%

  3. Te Putea Matua, Reserve Bank of New Zealand: 5.7%

  4. Te Pou Hauora Tūmatanui, Public Health Agency: 4.6%

  5. Waka Kotahi, NZ Transport Agency: 50.1%

  6. Te Aka Whai Ora, Maori Health Authority: 11.1%

This reinforces to me how insulting it it to the public for media or the agencies to only use the Te Reo names. Taxpayers should not have to google an agency to know what it is.

These results are not at all an argument against government agencies having a Te Reo name. I personally think it is a good thing for agencies to have names in both English and Te Reo.

But again what it shows is that if the agency, or media, only refer to themselves using their Te Reo name, then most New Zealanders do not know what agency is being referred to, and hence they are deliberately making it harder for citizens and residents to access their services or make sense of the story.

A good example is this recent press release from the Reserve Bank:

Today Te Tai Ōhanga, Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga and Te Pūtea Matua are publishing a joint paper that provides an assessment of the key drivers of rents in New Zealand.

By deliberately excluding the names in English, they are producing a media release that almost no recipient will know what they are referring to.

It’s an obsession that is elitist and patronising. It shouldn’t actually need a coalition agreement to instruct government agencies to not deliberately be unhelpful to the public.

David Farrar blogs at Kiwiblog

4,551 views127 comments

127 comentarios

More importantly, those responsible for this obfuscation need to be purged from public service. We cannot trust those who would do this not to have the best interests of the country at heart.

Me gusta

It was always obvious that using the Maori name of govt departments would confuse the bulk of the population about 90% of us I found it arrogant of the last labor govt to not use the English name first so much damage done by the Ardern led govt .

Me gusta

I read that Māori means, “common” or “dog”. Might want to sort this out.

Me gusta

The confusion and lack of understanding arising from using and relying on Te Reo (*which intrinsically is dynamic and fluid as to meanings and interpretation) and more so the Maori law that are also open to dynamic interpretation, and which are now being blended into State Law....has consequences that are unimaginable. Consequences which voters must be made fully aware of, and as to why, rather than any undemocratic process that ensures there is no road blocks to achieving parliament's objective of avoiding divisive and contentious disagreement due to decisions and never ending events.

It is therefore - very important to note that the introduction of a “lack of legal-certainty” by way of blending State law with Maori law/Te Reo is…

Me gusta
Contestando a

I found that very interesting and informative all govt heads and Parliamentarians need to read

Me gusta

In response to basilwnz

I strongly suggest you send this to our new Prime Minister, to the now leader of the opposition, the leader of the Maori Party and to the Greens co leader in particular.

Much has been said to deny the truth about Maori cannibalism, enslavement of their own people and their general disharmony within their own ethnic groups and it needs to be brought back to the people just exactly what the truth is. This letter would be a brilliant start.

Me gusta
30 nov 2023
Contestando a

Actually it was published in the book, 'The French Place In The Bay Of Islands - Essays From Pompallier's Printery'.

The book is also titled 'Te Urunga Mai O Te Iwi Wiwi'.

The copy of the letter is on Page 25, for anyone to see.

Poor du Fresne, he was the young sailor who years before uplifted Bonnie Prince Charlie from Scotland, transporting him to safety in France.

What an end to his career.

Me gusta
bottom of page