People failing to pronounce Maori place names correctly "boggles the mind" of one Auckland woman, and presumably the thousands of people who viewed her online video about the issue.

Actor Hana Botha posted a video on her Facebook page about failed pronunciation, and it has received more than 40,000 views, more than 1000 reactions, and more than 400 shares.

"It's something that has become more annoying over the summer months, you know, when you're talking to people about where they've been travelling to for Christmas and New Years," Botha said in the video.

She said it "honestly boggles my mind how many people don't even attempt it".


"Yeah, I don't get them right all the time either, they're hard, you have to think about them, sometimes you have to try two or three times, but that doesn't mean that you should just be like 'Oh, no, actually I'm not going to bother with that, I don't have time for that."

Botha listed commonly mispronounced place names such as Tauranga, Rotorua, Matamata, and Taupo.

She would often repeat the word back to someone with the correct pronunciation if they had said it incorrectly in conversation.

"When someone says it back to you correctly, something in your brain automatically goes 'That's not what came out of my mouth, that sounds different from what came out of my mouth, that's the correct way to say it.'

"Then the next time you say that word you have a choice: you have a choice to change, or you have a choice to ignore it and not give a shit about how it is said in that language, the language that it's written in."

A Te Reo speaker would not take an English place name and try to pronounce it with Maori vowels, she said.

"So why are Pakeha allowed to get away with making the Maori vowels into English vowels?

"You should know how to pronounce the place names in this country. It is like the most basic level of respect to say them correctly."


Botha said on her Facebook post she encountered the issue daily and it was not okay.

Comments on the post were supportive and grateful.

"Way to go sister, just a little bit of Reo means a lot," one person commented.

"Tēnā koe - it is frustrating to hear this on the regular too, please people make an effort and give it a go! Kia kaha ki te whakahua tika i ngā ingoa o Aotearoa," said another.