Ucol's Wanganui campus has a new name ? Whanganui Ucol. Whether Wanganui should be spelt with an "h" has been the subject of debate for years, with some groups choosing one spelling and some choosing another. In Ucol's case the change in spelling was the result of dialogue with Whanganui Iwi and advice from the Maori Language Commission, a statement from the polytechnic said.
Ucol chief executive Paul McElroy said this decision reflected the natural right of Whanganui Iwi to determine how their language was translated to English, something which was also supported by the Maori Language Commission.
Haami Piripi, the chief executive officer of commission, said in a letter to Ucol that it supported Whanganui Iwi in their desire to see this matter resolved: "We also thank Ucol for taking time to consider this issue, raising it, and as a result increasing awareness around this issue and similar language quality issues."
People could choose whether or not to pronounce the 'h', Mr McElroy said. John Maihi, on behalf of Te Puna Matauranga o Whanganui, said he had worked with Ucol over the past few years and was pleased to see the polytech finally move on the issue. He hoped the community would support this initiative and look at other areas where the spelling/naming of Wanganui could be corrected.
Mr McElroy said Wanganui Ucol signs would be changed to insert the "h" shortly, but other items such as stationery supplies would be updated as they needed replenishing or as opportunities arose.