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Letters to the Editor



Bouquet and brick bat
To Kaipara District Council, thank you for the toilets down by the Mangawhai boat ramp. They have helped immensely over the Christmas Period.

That is your bouquet, now for the part where you have dropped the ball. I have now been asking for well over a month for you to organise someone to clean up the rubble which was dumped on the beach to build a private boat ramp. Besides being unsightly, this heap of broken concrete and rocks is a danger to the public walking along the beach – particularly little children.

You have had ample time to clean this up, maybe someone in Council could advise Parks and Reserves as I believe they are a Kaipara Council department.

Now someone is happily driving their Sealegs boat over the reserve and up and down the seawall. Is Council buck passing?

Have a happy summer break and a great 2017.

Paul Rae


Te Reo talkback
In response to ‘Name And Address Supplied’ (Focus, Dec 19): Yes, you are perfectly correct regarding the evolution of the English language. My previous letter was designed to point out the differences between a language of 200 years ago in comparison to present day usage, and this you have validated.

Millions of dollars have been granted to “preserve the Maori language” but you don’t “preserve” a Model T Ford by adding a V8 engine.

The Treaty of Waitangi used words that now have a very different interpretation from those employed at the time the Treaty was written.

An accurate translation can only be attained by referencing dictionaries that existed around 1840, the most significant of these being the Maori/English dictionary Grammar and Vocabulary of the Language of New Zealand jointly compiled by Ngapuhi chieftain Hongi Kika and Professor Samuel Lee at Cambridge University in 1820, and William Williams’ Dictionary of the New Zealand Language compiled in 1844.

It is notable that Hongi’s definition of ‘taonga’ was ‘property obtained by the spear’, and Williams’ definition simply as ‘property’. Today’s interpretation of ‘taonga’ has been altered to include ‘anything sacred to the Maori people’, which totally changes the meaning of the Treaty as it was understood by both of the parties who signed.

A point that seems to be conveniently overlooked is that the Treaty was drafted in the English language and then translated into Maori – not the other way around. Confusion has only arisen because of the continued suppression of the final English draft that had been lost and was only rediscovered in 1989. Efforts to disprove the authenticity of this document have failed, yet it remains inert in government archives despite being dated the day before the Treaty was signed. Our “historians” try to justify its suppression by saying “It must have the wrong date” – a pathetic response to an inconvenient truth.

And, no, I don’t live under a rock.

Mitch Morgan

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