Sticks and stones more common than you think
I have to agree with MP Harete Hipango when she says she is being precious about her surname. I would just like to say "get over it". It is not just Maori names that people love to make fun of or which don't get pronounced correctly. There are hundreds of European names that I can think of that get a hard time.
Children especially can be really cruel to their classmates. In fact some of our grandchildren have changed their surname by deed poll so that their children won't have to suffer the same teasing. Bored teenagers also love to go through the phonebook on a Saturday night looking for names they can then phone up and make fun of. Usually very late at night and in our case, usually very rude. One of my children told me once, he and his friend rang the Champions and sang the Queen song.
When I married my husband, I hyphenated his surname with my maiden name. Sometimes, when I don't want to be a "dick", I just use "Allen". I thought politicians had thick skins. I suggest Harete grow one or else gets a sense of humour.
Clash of culture
It is debatable what did the greater disservice to Harete Hipango, the mispronunciation of her name by Urzila Carlson on the comedy game show Have You Been Paying Attention? or the Whanganui MP's sanctimonious outrage at this perceived offence.
Perhaps, deep down, Ms Hipango is upset that Carlson took her for a soy yoghurt.
Comedians have been mangling people's names in pursuit of cheap laughs for centuries. Ms Hipango says she enjoys a laugh as much as the next person but, on this occasion, it is she who was tone deaf. One of the more interesting aspects of the Chronicle's front page story of May 29, Clash of Culture, is that the culturally sensitive MP describes Ms Carlson as "a Sth Africa NZ Kiwi". Who knew Urzila Carlson is from South Africa? Who cares? Why would one mention it?