What on Earth is Hamilton thinking? I love the Tron as much as the next guy, but I watched with bemusement this week as Hamilton's mayor floated the idea of changing the name of the city council to Kirikiriroa.
Mayor Andrew King suggested a name change in a bid to promote closer links with iwi. He thought it would "send a strong signal".
The only signal it sent was that the Hamilton City Council has too much time on its hands and is getting bogged down in bollocks. It didn't manage to promote closer links to iwi - in the small time the idea was floated, all it did was promote closer links to a mob of furious ratepayers and residents, until the storm of public opinion eventually shut it down.
The Mayor withdrew the idea yesterday, unsurprisingly. The whole circus of a concept wound up distracting the council from its actual job, as it lurched sideways into furious debate from pretty much everyone who thought the idea was ridiculous.
But what was most disappointing was the councillor who tried to turn this whole debacle into a race issue.
Councillor Dave Macpherson, who calls himself "Dave Mac", applauded the Mayor's mad idea, and claimed that "angst-type discussions" only start whenever someone wants to change an English name to a Maori one.
What utter crap. He could've suggested changing the name to Mickey Mouse and people still would've been up in arms. It's not the name change being a Maori one - it's the unnecessary cost and kerfuffle that goes with something so glaringly superfluous.
"Dave Mac" Macpherson said 18 of the Waikato's 24 towns have Maori names, and that "the sun comes up every day" and that "it hasn't caused people to leave those towns".
Well of course it hasn't. That argument is ridiculous. And has nothing to do with how changing Hamilton City Council to Kirikiriroa is still a massive waste of time and money.
A petition against the name change had garnered 1500 signatures in 36 hours. Other naysayers suggested money would be better spent building a big cow in the main street similar to the one in Morrinsville.
A big cow? Why are any of these things ideas? What's Hamilton on? Doesn't the council there have any real issues - like water or rates, or rubbish or berms or libraries?
I'm not sure how a giant cow enhances Hamilton's heritage. The Hamilton City Council has proposed a 19.5 per cent rates hike over two years - 19.5 per cent is phenomenal - it's insane, so it's not like the council's drowning in cash. I feel like the council has forgotten the old slogan drama the Tron went through back in 2000.
New slogan changes were floated from the original, "Hamilton, where it's happening" to "River of Life", "Fountain City", "City of the Future" and so on.
All of these were eventually, again understandably, abandoned. The city council did however drop "where it's happening" from its letterheads. More unkind people than me would say perhaps that's because that particular statement may've been hard to prove.
The idea of Kirikiriroa has gone the way of all crazy council suggestions - straight into the bin where it belongs.