Fix pronunciation of Māori names in Christchurch Bus Interchange

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This petition respectfully asks that Environment Canterbury and the Christchurch City Council work with Metro Info to correct the pronunciation of the te reo Māori names in the automatic announcement system in the Ōtautahi/ Christchurch Bus Interchange.

The current pronunciation of names such as Rangiora, Hei Hei and Ara is very audibly incorrect. Rangiora should have rolled 'r's, a long 'a' and a soft 'ng', more like the te reo Pākehā word 'rung'. At the moment it sounds like 'Ran-gee-or-ah' and it is really painful to the ear of anyone aware of how it should sound.

We acknowledge that this will not be an easy task and that reprogramming the electronic voice may have some flow-on effects. However,

A)     Te reo Māori is recognised as a taonga protected under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and therefore it is worth the extra effort and commitment to get this correct,

B)     considering the context, within a building designed around the Kāi Tahu migration journey, it is particularly desirable to have the reo rangatira respected, and

C)     the flow-on effects of hundreds of people on a daily basis hearing these kupu said incorrectly is actually undoing a lot of the good work done by TV news, radio, Air NZ, etc, to have correct pronunciation. Tourists travelling by bus think this is how the names are said. Bus drivers repeat the incorrect pronunciation because they hear it all day as they come in and out of the interchange. Passengers use the incorrect pronunciation because it is normalised and reinforced every 15 minutes or so when we hear “Blue Line to Ran-gee-or-aah at Door 15”. And the human announcers who step in when the computer system has a glitch can regularly be heard mispronouncing the name, exactly as it is said by the automated voice. The announcers and bus drivers can hardly be held to blame for their poor pronunciation since they are constantly hearing the names said incorrectly all day long. Let's tautoko them by letting them hear how it should be said, not how it shouldn't.

D)     Finally, consider the effect on our tamariki and rangatahi who make up a large proportion of bus interchange users as they move to and from school. Those who are speakers of, or beginning to learn te reo, cannot fail to notice how wrong the kupu sound. Even though the interchange itself was carefully designed as a space that acknowledges te ao Māori, the mispronounced kupu devalue the language and culture of our rangatahi and make the space a less welcoming one for them.

This may not be an easy thing to rectify, but nevertheless, it does need rectifying.

Ko tōku reo, ko tōku ohooho. Ko tōku reo, ko tōku mātapihi maurea.

My language is my awakening, my language is my treasure.