Name change for Massy Univesity – historical racism against Māori
New Zealand is made up of numerous colonial place and street names, as are organisations and brands. Likewise, there are many place, street, educational institutions and government organisations with Māori names.
A Massey academic is suggesting a name change for Massey University – Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa as his research has revealed that its namesake was racist against at least Māori. This despite the university having its name since 1964 and it being recognised under New Zealand statute under the Massey University of Manawatu Act 1963.
The academic has a history of radical self serving opinions and one at least on one occasion he ignored advice to keep a story out of the media as it would cause wide spread damage to Māori.
On the surface it would appear to be another self serving media attention exercise that is not well thought through and I wait with interest to see how many Māori media will take notice.
In the first instance one would have thought that the Māori student body and manawhenua would have made an internal complaint citing clause 1.3 of the Massey University Mission statement. I assume this has not occurred as there is no real issue or at least no community issue.
Considering all of the colonial New Zealand place, street, geographical names I doubt that New Zealand as a country will want to change all such names and essentially remove freedom of expression and thought, remove any reference to our past.
Where would it stop? Would Iwi have the right to ask for Māori names to be changed as they are offensive, the Ka Mate haka could be challenged for a name change as it is offensive to Ngai Tahu tribe of the south island.
New Zealand Aotearoa has numerous Māori and colonial names that some find offensive but it also serves to remind us of our country’s history and the progress society has made.