There's a lot in a name, and I don't like mine. Still, my mother favoured Margaret Rose after the Queen's chain-smoking sister, and that would have been worse.

Yet it would have spared me having Mr Golder sing Rosemarie I Love You when I walked into school assembly as a little kid. I died of embarrassment.

Rosemary marks me like a former generation's Dorothy, Ruby, or Enid, Joan, Winifred, Beryl and Muriel, which are in fact the top five Christian names credit agencies prefer, especially Enid. That's tops, says Credit Simple's newly released research. Old women can be relied on.

All Enid means to me is Enid Blyton, the author of Noddy books, once condemned for the presence of 'naughty' golliwogs, and because Noddy, a wooden thing, was apt to get into bed with his friend Big Ears. This was apparently suggestive. To whom? They wore pyjamas for heaven's sake.


More telling are the favoured names of Generation Y. The top five there are Jing, Yan, Ying, Duncan and Yi, Duncan's presence there being a mystery. What these names suggest is that we are importing a lot of rich Chinese, whose children are rich too, and so are reliable at paying bills.

Our immigration figures are hardly news, but the survey suggests Pakeha New Zealanders no longer dominate the world as we knew it, and reinforce uneasiness about other cultures and world views. But more importantly there are age cohorts to keep us busy.

This week Wellington lost the World Rugby Sevens to Hamilton, a place best described by the words 'vanilla' and 'nowhere.' It's a good outcome for Hamilton, which needs an attraction to stop people driving right past. And it's an inevitable outcome for Wellington, which had a love/hate relationship with it and finally killed it.

That was a victory of the old and middle-aged over the young, who enjoyed it. It was our saturnalia, when people under 40 dressed up in crazy outfits, drank themselves paralytic, and kind of watched the footy. I liked seeing them out having fun. Goodness knows we hardly attract major events here for them.

One reason is the Westpac Stadium, that unlovable Stalinist concrete pile by the railway station. You have to walk for miles before you reach the building, not a good thing for anyone over 40. When you reach it it's unrelentingly ugly and unwelcoming, and when you go inside you freeze your butt off in the open air.

Only a committee could come up with an event centre so joyless. Only a penny-pinching committee would make it roofless in this city of eternal cold, wind and rain. I sat through a David Bowie concert there once with others of my age cohort and got drenched. Bowie battled on in a raincoat, but with all the special effects, backup musicians and lighting it's a wonder nobody was electrocuted. I won't be going back.

City leaders in Wellington welcomed the move out, we're told, and sniffed that the Sevens had passed its sell-by date. Better things will come, city councillors promise. How about they start by putting a lid on the cake tin?

The Sevens died when it was re-branded "family-friendly". One thing young single people who dress up as bumble bees and hookers do not want is family-friendly events. They have plenty of time ahead for that, when they have kids of their own and learn to endure the pap entertainment that offends nobody and consequently delights nobody either.

We make them pay for their education. We provide no decent accommodation for students and young people. There aren't enough jobs for them to use their education when they finish it. They believe they'll never own their own homes. And we begrudged them one day of lunacy.


In 2014, 270 fans were kicked out of the stadium during the sevens for booze-related issues. There were 10 breaches of liquor laws, and 20 arrests. That amount of annoyance in a stadium seating 34,500 people was hardly up there with the sacking of Rome. What's more, it's the very behaviour we indulge in what we call the permanent "party zone",
Courtenay Place, where the council lets bars stay open nearly all hours while a large brothel, we like them on the main street, entices the drunk and disorderly.

If we're so keen on family fun why don't we shut down all the boozy bars on Courtenay Place and make them reopen as old-time milk bars?

Make mine vanilla.

Rosemary McLeod is a journalist and author.