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Mike's Minute: Wellington needs to get out of its own way

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 10 May 2024, 10:11am

Mike's Minute: Wellington needs to get out of its own way

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 10 May 2024, 10:11am

Here is an insight into why bits of Wellington are not like the rest of the country. 

There is pushback from Whaikaha. 

Who are Whaikaha? They are the Ministry of Disabled People.   

Under the new Government, names were to be restored to English. 

Why? Because very few people speak Māori and, as such, most of us had no clue as to what a lot of these renamed groupings did, or who they once were. 

Waka Kotahi and Oranga Tamariki over time became possible exceptions because they got used so often, given their status in the news. 

He Waka Eke Noa, I bet you still don’t have a clue as to what it means, despite the fact it was a very important document dealing with one of the great issues of the age and one of our most important sectors. 

Anyway, all of this nonsense was going to stop when the new Government arrived because it was a major part of all their campaigns. 

In another sign that despite the initial angst they actually have quite a bit in common, all three parties agreed that this obsession with Māori language needed to end. 

Except a couple of things happened. 

The main one being that it didn’t change. The Government dragged the chain, sort of like the councils who are still insisting on mass lowering of speed limits until the new law is passed. 

In that sense, this Government has been taken for a ride, and that is reputational. 

Now the Ministry of Disabled People is pushing back on Whaikaha. They claim they have a unique whakapapa. 

And that is what is wrong with Wellington. 

Given all the ministry is going through of late, is it not astonishing they have time for this sort of debate? It's almost as though they have too many people. 

A ministry's job, the public services job, is to work for the Government of the day. The Government of the day are very clear on this particular matter. 

What is it about the public service that makes them think they are there to tell us what's right and how we are wrong? 

Do you think, given they behave that way, they might just be shooting themselves in the foot a bit when it comes to wider sympathy for their job retention plight? 

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