Time all signs were bilingual

LETTER

Thank you Pat for your intelligent and well-informed letter on the dual name debate. So far there has been more heat than light on this topic, which makes your contribution a refreshing change.

Had it not been for the kindness and generosity of local Maori families at Rapaki on the Lyttelton Harbour, my own great-grandmother and her young family may not have survived their first weeks in this country. I’m sure many pioneering families have similar tales to tell.

Africans crossing the Mediterranean today are no different from Irish and Scots settlers seeking escape from hopeless poverty 150 years ago. Many, then and now, end up as bones on the ocean floor.

As a child I was very uncomfortable with the name “Poverty Bay”. It sounded so much less than the wonderful place I knew and loved. Sadly te reo Maori was not only not taught in schools then, but I remember Maori pupils being punished for speaking it on the school bus.

It is quite useless to pile one rank injustice on top of another. It is time we fully embraced the beautiful Maori language and made all signage everywhere bi-lingual. This practice (and bi-lingual schooling) seems to have done the Canadians no harm.

Geraldine Oliver

Thank you Pat for your intelligent and well-informed letter on the dual name debate. So far there has been more heat than light on this topic, which makes your contribution a refreshing change.

Had it not been for the kindness and generosity of local Maori families at Rapaki on the Lyttelton Harbour, my own great-grandmother and her young family may not have survived their first weeks in this country. I’m sure many pioneering families have similar tales to tell.

Africans crossing the Mediterranean today are no different from Irish and Scots settlers seeking escape from hopeless poverty 150 years ago. Many, then and now, end up as bones on the ocean floor.

As a child I was very uncomfortable with the name “Poverty Bay”. It sounded so much less than the wonderful place I knew and loved. Sadly te reo Maori was not only not taught in schools then, but I remember Maori pupils being punished for speaking it on the school bus.

It is quite useless to pile one rank injustice on top of another. It is time we fully embraced the beautiful Maori language and made all signage everywhere bi-lingual. This practice (and bi-lingual schooling) seems to have done the Canadians no harm.

Geraldine Oliver

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    Do you agree that ratepayers in the city and on the Flats should subsidise some of the spending on rural roads in the district?

    See also:
    April 21 editorial, The local share of roads spending