Laws ‘angry’, ‘upset’ about W(h)anganui decision – will appeal
NZ Herald Thursday Sep 17, 2009
Wanganui Council to appeal ‘H’ decision
Wanganui Mayor Michael Laws is in a right stew about the “h” word.
He said he was “angry, upset and disappointed” today after the Geographic Board ruled the city should be spelled Whanganui with an “h”, ending more than a century and a half without the controversial letter.
(and, we understand , in the local Maori dialect the ‘h’ is silent, so it only needs to be corrected for the accuracy of the written word. If only we could be having this kind of debate in Australia!)
“HOW IT SOUNDS
Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori, the Maori Language Commission, says the pronunciation of the h in Whanganui by local iwi is a glottal stop – which can be an imperceptible sound to those not familiar with the language. That did not mean that the h is not there, rather it is a breathed sound.”