Wikipedia:New Zealand Wikipedians' notice board

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New Zealand Wikipedians' notice board
This page is a notice board for things that are particularly relevant to New Zealand Wikipedians.

You are encouraged to add your name to the list of New Zealand Wikipedians.

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New Zealand time and date: 02:14 24 July 2018 NZST (refresh)
Universal time and date: 14:14 23 July 2018 UTC (refresh)
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Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at Te Uru Gallery, Auckland[edit]

Hi all,

Just hoped to spread the word that Te Uru Art Gallery in Titirangi is hosting an edit-a-thon this Sunday the 21st January 12-4pm. The focus is on New Zealand artists and ceramicists, and there should be some good sources of information available.

They made a facebook page with more info here

I hope some of you more experienced wiki editors may attend :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fionalenore (talkcontribs) 05:12, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Facebook group to support NZ Wikipedians[edit]

We've had several edit-a-thons recently. The idea of a support group for kiwi Wikipedia editors was raised last year. Two of us created such a group. It is a "closed group" meaning that its name, description and membership are public but the discussions within the group are private; they can only be seen by the members of the group. Membership is administered by admins.

Who here would be interested in joining? The purpose would be for experienced editors to assist new editors in a private manner not available via the WP:WPNZ. Tayste (edits) 04:54, 21 January 2018 (UTC)

Happy to help out that way. Schwede66 05:11, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
God, I hate FB but would use it for this reason Auchmill (talk) 08:53, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
Ditto! But would be useful for previous attendees of edit-a-thons. I'll let them know. Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 21:33, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
I too would be interested in joining and helping out.--Ambrosia10 (talk) 16:06, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
I have applied to it. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 17:45, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
Also interested to join. I've searched on "Kiwi WP" and "NZ WP" but can't find it. Can you post the name of the group here? TIA. MurielMary (talk) 12:35, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Cancel that, I found it. MurielMary (talk) 12:40, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
I'm interested, what is the name of the group on Facebook? NZFC(talk) 20:44, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Wikipedia New Zealand MurielMary (talk) 22:35, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Cheers, have clicked to join. NZFC(talk) 22:42, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

Auckland War Memorial Museum article[edit]

Hello. I work at Auckland War Memorial Museum and have requested edits to its article on its Talk page. After some back and forward, the Wikipedia administrator who monitors edit requests has developed a version of my suggested changes, but s/he has removed significant information regarding the history of the museum and its buildings—some of which already appears in the current version of the article.

I'd like to ask for some input from NZ Wikipedians (particularly if you are familiar with Auckland and/or Māori culture) regarding the changes being suggested. Thank you. — Hugh (talk) 19:51, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

Happy to help; I'll take a look and see if I can add some more citations to the middle section too, which seems a bit lacking. Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 10:11, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
OK, I've had a look. The issue I can see is that much of the text in the current page is completely unreferenced, and it reads a bit like marketing copy – it's too flowery and subjective in tone for an encyclopaedia ("neglected and forlorn", "visionary curator", . So that section does have to be rewritten. Actually, it reads like it's completely plagiarised from some other publication – even if that's not so, it gave me a bad feeling and I can understand the editor wanting to just cut it all.
I think the best course of action is this: just let them use their suggested version. Suggest fixes for the nonsensical sentences. Then work with a team of other Wikipedians to find ways of putting back the bulk of the information – not the text – from the old version, referencing every sentence, and ideally not citing the museum's own website. (Even the revised draft leans rather a lot on the museum's self-published web pages.) Can we find some scholarly articles or books on the museum's history to use instead?
My suggestion is for Auckland Museum to simply host a small edit-a-thon, maybe with free pizza, and then step back and let a team of experienced Auckland editors have a crack at the page with a stack of print references ready to hand. I'd be happy to come up and take part. Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 06:15, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedian at Large grant proposal needs volunteers and endorsements[edit]

I'm applying for a reasonably large Wikimedia Foundation grant to support a year of Wikipedian in Residence postings at a wide (and growing) range of institutions throughout the country. It will mean a lot of travel and camping out in people's spare rooms, but I think will be worth it to raise the profile of different Wikimedia projects and give different organisations a taste of having a Wikipedian on hand.

The grant has just gone live: Project:New Zealand Wikipedian at Large. Go check it out. Three things you can do:

  1. If you're interested in helping with any residencies or events around the country – at the moment just in the four main centres – please add yourself using the Volunteer button and summarise your background and what you'd be keen to do. It will help for the WMF to see there are experienced editors available to support the project.
  2. If you think a "Wikipedian at Large" is a good idea, please write a short endorsement, following Ambrosia10's template, especially if you know me and have participated in any of the events I've run: e.g. @Gadfium:, @Tayste:, @Nurg:, @Stuartyeates:, @Sabine's Sunbird:, @Ballofstring:, @Insertcleverphrasehere:, @Susan Tol:, and any others I've forgotten. A vote of confidence from the Wikipedia community will make a big difference to the grant's success. Thanks to those who've already left endorsements! (Really, no need for them to be so flattering, just a short statement saying you think it's a good idea and why is fine.)
  3. If you have suggestions or think there's something missing in the grant, make a note on its Discussion page. There's still time to make changes, especially in response to community feedback.

If you can take the time to do this, many thanks. Fingers crossed, and all going well I'll meet many of you in person at editing events around the country. Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 10:40, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

Kate Sheppard peer review -- critical feedback welcome[edit]

Hi. As some of you may know, a number of us here, including myself, Gadfium, and Susan Tol, have been working towards bring the Kate Sheppard article to Featured status. Our aim is to achieve this in the next few months in order to feature the article on the main page on the 125th anniversary of the vote to grant women suffrage, which is later this year. To do this we will be nominating the article at WP:FAC very soon, and so would welcome any feedback on the article before then. Critical comments are really important (specifically looking at making sure it meets the FA criteria). Any comments would therefore be welcome at the peer review page here. Pedantry is welcome! Thanks. -- Shuddetalk 18:27, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

ESEAP Conference 2018[edit]

(This was posted to Māori Wikipedia, so I'm copying it over here. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 00:25, 25 February 2018 (UTC))

Scholarship applications for ESEAP Conference 2018 is now open!

ESEAP Conference 2018 is a regional conference for Wikimedia communities around the ESEAP regions. ESEAP stands for East, Southeast Asia, and Pacific. Taking place in Bali, Indonesia on 5-6 May 2018, this is the first regional conference for the Wikimedia communities around the regions.

Full scholarships are subject to quotas, maximum two people per country and your country is eligible to apply, visit this page.

We also accept submissions of several formats, including:

  • Workshop & Tutorial: these are presentations with a focus on practical work directed either to acquiring a specific skill or doing a specific task. Sessions are 55 minutes led by the presenters in a classroom space suitable for laptops and work.
  • Posters: A2-size format to give news, share your community event/program, set out an idea, propose a concept, or explain a problem. The poster itself must be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons with a suitable license.
  • Short Presentation/Sharing talks: 10-15 minutes presentation on certain topic.

Deadline for submissions and scholarship applications is on 15 March 2018. If you have any question, don't hesitate to contact me or send your e-mail to

Best regards, Beeyan (talk) 09:01, 26 Hānuere 2018 (UTC)

Wikibrunch Wellington[edit]

All Wellington-area Wikipedians are invited to a brunch meetup on Sunday 11 March. All are welcome, but it would be especially good if some more experienced editors could come along to chat about possible strategies for edit-a-thons in the area, and to say hi to newcomers. I'll try to remember name tags for both our real names and handles!

  • Where: Loretta, 181 Cuba St
  • When: Sunday 11 March, 11:00 am (but I’ll be there from 10:30 to ensure we get a table.)

Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 08:14, 27 February 2018 (UTC)

I'll come along, it is only a few blocks from my house, thanks! I'll try to bring another editor with me as well (who is planning on a collaborative editing project with me soon). — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 08:55, 27 February 2018 (UTC)

Location template Days Bay[edit]

Near the top right hand corner of this page there is a map location: coord |41|16|S|174|55|E|display=title|region:NZ_type:city_source:GNS-enwiki. Its wrong. It should be 41.28,174.90 (or thereabouts). When I try to fix it the template (near the bottom left of the article) gets upset as if I am trying to force it do something it is not supposed to do and will not display properly. Is it something I should ignore because this template is designed to give a rough guide to location (near the bottom of the North Island) rather than pinpoint a place? Eddaido (talk) 08:05, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

Hi Eddaido, I had a play and changed to format so it read coord |41.2816|S|174.9068|E|display=title|region:NZ_type:city_source:GNS-enwiki instead and doesn't give the error and sets to the correct location. NZFC(talk) 08:35, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

Art+Feminism edit-a-thon, Auckland Central Library[edit]

Hi all,

This Saturday there will be an Art+Feminism edit-a-thon happening at Auckland Central Library from 10.30–3:30.

If any experienced editors were interested in helping out it would be greatly appreciated. The morning will be spent teaching basic skills, with people starting to work on their own projects after 12. If anyone is interested in dropping in, even just to help troubleshoot, would be great to see you there. If you are interested there is more information on the Facebook page where people are signing up, as the Art+Feminism group has moved away from using wiki meetup pages. Susan Tol (talk) 02:02, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

I'll be there! I hope other Auckland Wikimedians can come along, especially to help new editors through the process. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 02:20, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
I'd love to attend remotely, but I am attending a wedding that day, sorry! — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 02:29, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
I'll be there too. Tayste (edits) 21:46, 23 March 2018 (UTC)

A-Class review for Donald Forrester Brown needs attention[edit]

A few more editors are needed to complete the A-Class review for Donald Forrester Brown; please stop by and help review the article! Thanks! AustralianRupert (talk) 08:20, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

User:DavidYork71 seeking unban[edit]

User:DavidYork71 is asking that their community ban be lifted. The discussion of this is at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Community ban appeal by User:DavidYork71. I'm posting this notification here as this editor and their more than 700 sockpuppet accounts have had a focus on New Zealand-related topics. Nick-D (talk) 09:28, 29 April 2018 (UTC)

Appeal to revert the revert that changed Paekākāriki back to Paekakariki, and/or to clarify rules around Māori place names[edit]

In 2017 I changed the spelling from Paekakariki to Paekākāriki because Paekākāriki is now the spelling used on all official documents (such as local board minutes, or the sign at the school etc). User:Rsfinlayson reverted my edit a few days ago citing Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand)

I have no beef with User:Rsfinlayson on this but I think that the rule needs to be clarified and/or corrected. I would also like to appeal to have his edit reverted.

Currently, the naming conventions say two things of relevance:

> "Māori words, when they appear as the title of articles, are usually given with macrons where appropriate, and with a redirect from the unmacronned form."

But also:

> "Rules of Māori place names are still under discussion, but at present, where the usual name of a place is Māori, macrons are not used in the name."

To some extent the two guidelines are contradictory. Furthermore, the 'extensive discussion' linked from the above page concerned, primarily, places with two names (one in Māori and one in English). I don't believe the discussion fully addressed (or resolved) the case where the placename is a Māori word with no English equivalent.

I would suggest that a more correct, more consistent and easier to apply guideline is to just say when the word is a Māori word the way that the word is pronounced should control its spelling. This rule could apply regardless of whether it is a place name. (And regardless of which word appears in the infobox - which is a totally separate consideration).

I suggest that using Te Reo spelling for all Te Reo words would be more correct because:

1. A word with macrons and the same word without can refer to two totally a different things - so it avoids ambiguity

Stuff recently switched to using macronized form of Te Reo and one of the reasons they quoted was:

To borrow one example from the Māori Language Commission, "He keke māu?" translates to the delicious "Would you like some cake?". But the very similar "He kēkē māu?" translates to the much less appetising "Would you like some armpit?"


2. In Te Reo the pronunciation of a word follows directly from its spelling - but only if it is spelled correctly with macrons.

Many Māori words - especially place names - predate writing so it seems more correct (and frankly more respectful) to spell them in the way that they are pronounced. When you are spelling a Māori word when you spell it without a macron, it implies a pronunciation (and sometimes) a concept that is totally different from the one that is being referred to.

In my work we have touched on the question of Māori language models for programmatic pronunciation and recognition of speech. Given that Wikipedia is likely to be a part of the definitive sources used when they eventually build a version of step by step driving instructions that pronounce NZ place names correctly it is important that we get the spelling correct now. Because the spelling of Te Reo directly maps to the correct pronunciation we make it much easier for automated systems to get this correct by providing the correct spelling. We can then work on this over the coming years. In some areas, there may be a range of pronunciations for a given place name but if the guidelines on Wikipedia are clear those conversations have a much clearer basis to proceed.

In the case of Paekākāriki we also have the local convention and official documents to go from

3. In Paekākāriki the local convention - in terms of signs at the school and the notes of the local community board etc - is to use the (correct) macronized version. Paekākāriki

After this change was made on Wikipedia there was some discussion around this in the local community. It wasn't 100% but I would say the definite consensus was in support of this shift, which I could show you if I could link to our local community discussion board. Also in Paekākāriki, the correct pronunciation - and the name itself - predates Wikipedia.

[2] [3] Also, as noted, in the edit hitory the NZ Gazeeter of place names lists both names. Utunga (talk) 05:38, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

Thank you for the informative post. Place names were discussed a few months ago and a, in my view, confusing and unsatisfactory consensus was reached. In that sense I agree with some of your concerns. My concerns about the whole wikipedia and NZ approach to Maori names is that it is trying to combine two separate issues, with inevitable confusion. English spelling - Maori spelling. On WP here we use the English spelling first, so macrons should not be used. There is no disrespect involved if it is clear that the spelling is the English spelling. If someone assumes the word is being spelt in Maori then the lack of a macron can cause offense. By not making the distinction clear we are causing confusion, just as the authorities in NZ are doing with all the various place name changes. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 06:34, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

Note that I wasn't involved with the discussion that created Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand); I am not the person to debate with if you wish to discuss what led to the draughting of that policy.

It's important to appreciate that there isn't one single, master Wikipedia; instead, there are several, each for a different language. Note that "" points to the English-language Wikipedia; "" points to the Chinese-language Wikipedia, and "" points to the Te Reo Wikipedia. (Noone would dispute that a page titled "Paekākāriki" would be appropriate in the Te Reo Wikipedia.) But in this case, we're talking specifically about a policy in "" - the English-language Wikipedia. For this Wikipedia, there is a well-established policy WP:COMMONNAME, which I urge you to read. I suspect that the people who wrote Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand) did so based - at least in part - on this wide-ranging policy. Note in particular that - according to this policy - the title of an (English-language Wikipedia) article is not necessary based on 'official' names, but instead "the name that is most frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources". Although you have given some selective examples of situations where the macronised spelling is used, by any measure, the unmacronised version remains by far the more common usage in English (as you can clearly see by driving through the town).

Also, one of the guiding principles for Wikipedia is that editors should strive to maintain a 'neutral point of view'. Wikipedia should not be used to advance an agenda. Several times, you have referred to "Paekākāriki" as the 'correct' spelling for the town - but there's no real basis for that claim. For instance, LINZ (the NZ Government database for geographic names) uses the unmacronised spelling (for the town). Also, I suspect that many younger New Zealanders in particular may have a misunderstanding of when/how macrons started being used; they might not realize that the use of macrons on Maori words is relatively recent - dating only from the late 1980s, I believe. Prior to that, almost nobody - Pakeha or Maori - used macrons, even when writing exclusively in Te Reo. So while the spelling "Paekākāriki" may predate Wikipedia; the spelling "Paekakariki" in turn predates "Paekākāriki" by several decades.

The current policy - described in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand) - in which NZ place names are given pages using their common English names (but also noting the Maori-language spelling if different) - seems appropriate.

Ross Finlayson (talk) 06:40, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

I agree with the user Utunga that Paekākāriki is the appropriate spelling in English. Where there are places in New Zealand with both an English name and a Māori name, it will make sense to use the English name.

But Paekākāriki has the same name in both English and te reo Māori. It is a question of spelling. In this case the place name in English is a name derived from Māori, and in such cases increasingly the English spelling is unified with the Māori spelling. Paekākāriki is an example of that, where I suggest that the macronised spelling is now the accepted English spelling.

Note that Paekākāriki is frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources. For example: - By the local district council( English language website): - Mainstream media sources (English)  : ; and - New Zealand Encyclopedia, published by the government (in English): - Mainstream local school:

Also, User:Rsfinlayson is quite wrong when he says macrons date from the late 1980s. Macrons have been used in written Māori since at least the 1840s, albeit with different levels of usage. It doesn't really matter either way, because the language is what it is now. The macron has become the generally accepted device for marking long vowels. And Wikipedia's policy is to use current usage, not usage from the 1980s.

Gconz (talk) 07:26, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

Yes, we can all find some websites that have decided to use the macronised spelling. But that doesn't mean that it's the spelling "most frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources" - to quote WP:COMMONNAME. A quick Google search gives me 234,000 hits for "Paekakariki", but only 12,400 hits for "Paekākāriki". Also, drive around the town and look at the spelling on (road and building) signs. It's not even close. User "Gconz" claimed that "the macronised spelling is now the accepted English spelling". That's simply not true. Ross Finlayson (talk) 08:17, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

Hey folks, thanks for the feedback. I hear what you are saying and I get that the discussion around Māori place names was already had! It would be understandable if you don't want to go 'back there' again. However, even the current guidelines say "where the usual name of a place is Māori" that the "rules .. are still under discussion" and I do think this needs clarification.

In my opinion, there are at least two better solutions to this problem than what we have now and both would be more in keeping with WP:COMMONNAME than what is there currently. So... here I am trying to advance that discussion... hopefully in the right place.


You say "The current policy - described in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand) - in which NZ place names are given pages using their common English names (but also noting the Maori-language spelling if different) - seems appropriate."

I totally agree. It fits with WP:COMMONNAME that if there are two words - e.g. Otautahi and Christchurch - that we should use the most common name and redirect from the other - "Wikipedia generally prefers the name that is most commonly used".

However if you will forgive me, I believe that in your paragraph above you may have accidentally conflated the concept of naming with the concept of spelling of those names.

Let's consider Christchurch for example. In the English language Wikipedia it is listed under "Christchurch" with a redirect from both "Ōtautahi" and "Otautahi". No problem.

The first line of this page currently reads: "Christchurch (/ˈkraɪstʃɜːrtʃ/; Māori: Ōtautahi)".

But please do note that the spelling there is already Ōtautahi because that is the 'correct' way to spell that word - that is if you are definitely dealing with a Māori word in written form then the 'correct' way to spell that word is "Ōtautahi" (see below regarding my hopefully not to inflammatory use of the word 'correct' in this narrow context).

By the way Ōtautahi is also, fwiw, a fairly 'common' and current way to spell Ōtautahi online and in official sources. Such as - to pick a random example [the Christchurch Library ]. But I digress.

Now. Lets say that, just hypothetically, people in the South started using the word Ōtautahi more and more and more.. to the point, that eventually someone made the case that Ōtautahi is actually the (per WP:COMMONNAME "the name that is most commonly used") so at that point (in the purely hypothetical future) it gets switched around and now "Christchurch" redirects to "Ōtautahi".

The current rules (which are still 'under discussion') say 'at present, where the usual name of a place is Māori, macrons are not used in the name.'

So that would seem to imply that first line of this page which currently reads: "Christchurch (/ˈkraɪstʃɜːrtʃ/; Māori: Ōtautahi)". .. would need to be changed to : "Otautahi (/ˈor-toe-tahi/'; English: Christchurch)".

But. Wait. What happened here? In order to conform with this guideline, we banished the spelling Ōtautahi to the land of redirects and introduced this new word Otautahi which is, supposedly, the "English" spelling of this Māori word.

I would contend that there was no such thing. In this case, there is only an English word and a Māori word. Christchurch and Ōtautahi. The one that should be in the title, should be - per WP:COMMONNAME - the one most commonly used. But if the one that is most commonly used is the Māori word then we should spell it 'correctly'. And apologies but I believe I am using the word 'correctly' correctly here because we are talking about the spelling of an unambiguously Māori word - which is why, of course, it is spelled as Ōtautahi on the current page.

Aside: Regarding the use of the word 'correct' apologies if it seemed I was not being neutral but I believe I was (in the above) using it not in the vague sense of 'the better word' but in the specific sense of that there is a 'correct' way to spell Māori words when you are unambiguously talking about a Māori word. To provide a reference consider for instance how this software [4] was described in 2013 as being able to "automatically add the correct macrons to Māori texts"

So at this point, I believe the only question is whether there are actually two words Paekakariki and Paekākāriki (one an English word and one a Māori word). I would contend that actually there is just one word here, and so the question is not *which* word to use but how to spell it.

For instance, in the German Wikipedia a town in North West Germany is listed under the name "Köln" (pronounced [kœln]). Whereas, in the English Wikipedia the same town is listed under the page "Cologne" (pronounced /kəˈloʊn/). This makes a ton of sense because there is an English and a German was to say that name. Really they are two different words. But I really think that in the case of Paekākāriki there really is just one name, it's only a question of how to spell it.

So I think the guidance should either be that such names should be spelled 'correctly' and unambiguously or failing that, that the most common spelling should be used.



 The choice between anglicized and local spellings should follow English-language usage, e.g. the non-anglicized titles Besançon, Søren Kierkegaard, and Göttingen are used because they predominate in English language reliable sources, whereas for the same reason the anglicized title forms Nuremberg, Delicatessen, and Florence are used (as opposed to Nürnberg, Delikatessen, and Firenze, respectively).
 If there are too few reliable English-language sources to constitute an established usage, follow the conventions of the language appropriate to the subject (German for German politicians, Portuguese for Brazilian towns, and so on)


 Sometimes the most appropriate title contains diacritics (accent marks), dashes, or other letters and characters not found on most English-language keyboards. This can make it difficult to navigate to the article directly. In such cases, provide redirects from versions of the title that use only standard keyboard characters.

There are two options that I believe are in keeping with this. For instance if the guideline was:

(1) that we should use the spelling that is in most common english language usage then we could at least have a discussion around the question of how Paekākāriki is most often spelled in common, current, usage.

or alternatively, if the guidance was:

(2) that we should follow "the conventions of the language appropriate to the subject" then - for words in Māori - we would have a clear statement of using Te Reo spelling (which is well defined) in all cases for words in Māori.

Either of these would be in keeping with WP:COMMONNAME. (Though obviously I'd prefer the latter because "With tohutō anyone can look at a word, even one they have never seen before, and pronounce it."[5]. Surely this is a good thing?

However, at the very least we should change it to one of these.


The current tentative guideline of 'where the usual name of a place is Māori, macrons are not used in the name' is not in keeping with WP:COMMONNAME. Nor does it really make much sense. There is an argument that because we are in the English language wikipedia that therefore we should use the non-macronized version of the spelling but this basically implies that there is some sort of 'correct' English spelling for Māori words which is just like the Māori spelling but all the macrons taken out. But this is nonsense. Just look at our example of Christchurch. There are not three words to consider here - "Christchurch" and "Ōtautahi" and "Otautahi". There are only two words "Christchurch" and "Ōtautahi" - but the latter is sometimes for misspelled as Otautahi. And it would be crazy that should Ōtautahi become the most common usage that suddenly we have to spell it as Otautahi all of a sudden.

And, if, ultimately, it is simply a matter of inconvenience of typewriters - then this is a problem that should not be a major concern for an Enclyopedia. After all we've changed it back and forth twice now already. People can have discussions about whether it is OK to use the non-macronized form in less formal contexts, in other forums. (And actually on that subject the whole reason this started is because Google will often bring up the spelling from Wikipedia if you type in the non-macronized form - so its actually a really useful way to get to the right spelling if you find macrons problematic to type). But that is not our concern here in Wikipedia.

On the subject of macrons Ross Finlayson you say that "many younger New Zealanders .. might not realize that the use of macrons on Maori words is relatively recent - dating only from the late 1980s, I believe"

But in fact, I believe the spelling goes back to when the language was first designed - which becomes clear from a proper study of the allowed phonemes and corresponding spellings in the Māori language.

"Many think of tohutō as a novelty but the need to mark long vowels was always seen as important by some. The first publication to use the tohutō was Lady (Mary Ann) Martin's Māori language book Recipes for remedies, food and beverages in 1869." [6]


Finally Roger 8 Roger you say that "If someone assumes the word is being spelt in Maori then the lack of a macron can cause offense" but in fact this might be a reasonable assumption for someone to make given that the current policy for all other titles is that "Māori words [should generally use] macrons where appropriate, with a redirect from the unmacroned form."


In short I'm 100% happy with using the English word for a place (in the English language Wikipedia) when that is the name in more 'common usage'. But, when the word in question is a Māori word then we should either spell it as it is pronounced, or at the very least allow for the most common form of it's spelling to be used. It doesn't make any sense (nor is it consistent with WP:COMMONNAME) to rule out the use of macrons - but only for place names - as a hard and fast rule.

And for anyone that has read this far.. thanks so much! Hoping we can get this right once and for all.

Utunga (talk) 09:22, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

Gconz, although I agree with you approach to analysing this problem, I think you have made a couple of basic errors. English does not share a common name with Maori for places such as Paekakariki. English used the Maori word to create an Anglicised version. They look very similar, but they are different. In this case the difference is visible with the use, or not, of macrons. For many years, before the regular use of macrons, the difference was not visible. Also, has English adopted Maori spelling enough to make the Maori loan words now part of English? That is a matter of opinion and in my view the answer is no, English has not done that. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 09:54, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
There is a problem here in that Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand) states, for place names, that the non-macron version is taken as the article title with the macron version being a redirect. Further complicating this is the New Zealand Geographic Board accepts both versions of names in many cases. For Paekakariki township they use the non-macron version and for Paekākāriki hill they use the macron version. As the NZGB is the official authority for NZ placenames, I don't see how we as Wikipedians can create our own version in contradiction to it without falling into WP:OR or something similar. We can mention that there are variations or alternative versions of a name if we have an WP:RS to back it up. NealeFamily (talk) 11:35, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
NealeFamily just to clarify I'm asking here for a clarification/adjustment of the guidelines (Not just after a name revert for Paekakariki/Paekākāriki). The current guidelines don't actually state that NZ placenames should follow the spelling in most common usage or per NZGB. Instead, it just says "where the usual name of a place is Māori, macrons are not used in the name' -- always. I'd prefer it to be based on the common usage which IMHO would be more in keeping with WP:COMMONNAME

"Utunga", you seemed focused on 'correctness', and how names 'should' be spelled. You apparently believe that the macronised spelling is 'correct', and the unmacronised spelling "Paekakariki" is 'incorrect'. And, at least subconsciously, you're trying to advance an agenda to get the macronised spelling used as much as possible on the Internet (which is why you don't like to see a Wikipedia page with the unmacronised spelling pop up whenever someone does a Google search). That might have been what you picked up in school, and it might be what most of your close colleagues happen to feel. But value judgements like this are not how Wikipedia is supposed to work; other people out there might feel completely differently. One of the fundamental principles of Wikipedia is that it should be written from a "neutral point of view" (WP:NPOV). In the context of place names, this means that the title of a place's page in the language-X Wikipedia should reflect that place's most common usage in language-X (but with alternative spellings also noted). Thus, the motivation for WP:COMMONNAME. In the case of the English-language Wikipedia and "Paekakariki", the evidence remains overwhelming that this is the most common way that the town is spelled in English - which is why Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand)#Place_names remains appropriate in this case.

Ross Finlayson (talk) 12:10, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

User:Rsfinlayson thanks for replying. I'm not going to respond to your ad-hominen attacks regarding personal motivations (which are surely not relevant?) and instead I will just note that you are now arguing for the spelling 'Paekakariki' over 'Paekākāriki' on the basis of common usage. I think this is good! We have the start of agreement. How about this. Can we at least agree (collectively, not just us two) that we should change the rule so that it is based on common usage instead of just ruling out macrons in all cases? The current guidelines - Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand), which you referenced when you reverted my change - say 'at present, where the usual name of a place is Māori, macrons are not used in the name.' That seems a little extreme. How about, as a compromise, we agree to change the guidance on placenames so that it is based on common usage instead of ruling out macrons in *all* cases. For example, if we lift the relevant language straight from WP:COMMONNAME we'd get something like: "where the usual name of a place is Māori, the spelling (with macrons or otherwise) should be based on the spellings which predominate in English language reliable sources for that location."
To be clear it is still my considered and humble opinion that it would be more appropriate, and more in keeping with the intent for Wikipedia to act as a reliable source, that the spelling of all Māori words whenever they appear in this English text to be 'given with macrons where appropriate' and/or to 'use the Māori Language Commission spellings of Māori names where possible.' which are sentences already in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand). It's just seems more consistent to handle all Māori words the same way and a bit weird to make an exception for placenames, frankly. But that said, like I say, how about we just change it to be based on common usage - which is, after all, the argument you yourself were already making, and would (IMHO) be more in keeping ~ than what we have ~ with WP:COMMONNAME anyway. Use the "spelling which predominates in English language reliable sources"? How about that?

Yes, that sounds reasonable to me. By the way, yesterday, out of curiosity, I used Google Street View to virtually 'drive' through this pretty little town, making a note of the signs that I saw there. Overwhelmingly, I saw signs saying "Paekakariki" (without macrons): Signs at the railway station; road signs; signs on the main shopping street (Beach Road) saying "Paekakariki Auto Services", "Paekakariki Village Grocery Store", "Paekakariki Fruit Supply"; also "Paekakariki Playcentre"; "Paekakariki Fire Station" (two signs there); "Paekakariki Holiday Park"; "Paekakariki Memorial Hall" (with "Paekakariki Sports Club" in the same building); "Paekakariki School" (it seems they care about macrons only enough to change their web site, but not their physical sign); a sign saying "WTOSR Project Depot - 20 Tilley Road - Paekakariki"; and, perhaps most damning of all, a large town 'welcome' sign (on the corner of SH-1 and Beach Road) saying "Paekakariki". I saw only two signs with macrons: A sign at the local library saying "Kia Ora from Paekākāriki Library", and (just next-door) a sign "Paekākāriki Tennis Courts". (BTW, thank heavens for copy-and-paste, because otherwise I would have had a hard time typing those macrons on my computer.) I might have missed some signs, but you get the point. It would be interesting to come back in a few years and see how (if at all) this has changed.
Ross Finlayson (talk) 16:13, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
Just a quick side note - signage on businesses can lag many years behind an actual name change. For example in Whanganui (which changed from Wanganui in 2009), a large number of businesses still use the old spelling. Lcmortensen (mailbox) 12:46, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
I was about to make the exact point, as an editor of the frequently-vandalised Whanganui page. Also: "Wanganui" returns 2.1 million Google results, and "Whanganui" (which also includes the river, district, and as of 2017 the Manawatū-Whanganui region) just 922,000. Google results are being overwhelmed by 160 years of historical usage of the incorrectly-spelled name, and will be for decades to come. "Incorrect" is not a value judgement or agenda here, by the way; it's the official reason why an h has been added to "Wanganui" place names four times now, and Whanganui is the official and correct name of the "urban area" since the district was renamed in 2015. Thus appealing to "common usage" by counting business names or Google hits is not a reliable guide to how a town's name should be spelled. And by the same argument it's also not a reliable guide to whether the name should show macrons. So if we accept that Geographic Board pronouncements and the decisions of District Councils (etc.) prevail when determining the name of the Whanganui/Wanganui Wikipedia article – and of course we should, that's the official name – we should accept the same decisions when deciding between Taupō/Taupo; not "common usage", which seems like a very slippery concept the more you look at it. The Kāpiti District Council has decided the spelling is Paekākāriki,[1] and the article name should follow this. We don't have to come back every few years and count the signs until macrons prevail. (Note, by the way, that that Stuff news story could not even print the word "Paekākāriki" because their system until recently couldn't handle macrons – and the NZ Herald still can't! So there's another big bias built into any citing of Google search results.) —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 23:32, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
Its the macrons that catch in my gullet. Give it a few more years, maybe 25. Whanganui is all different. Eddaido (talk) 23:39, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
"Catch in my gullet" isn't a helpful Wikipedia article-naming criterion. The Whanganui example is not "all different"; the Talk Page arguments against the h in Whanganui went on for years and strongly resembled this current argument, so it's a similar and useful example. Which is why I spent the time bringing it up. If you think it's fundamentally different and misleading, say why. "Give it a few more years" is not how Wikipedia deals with natural disasters, deaths of politicians, or Prince changing his name. If a district council – which, as in this case, was given by the Geographic Board the power to determine the spelling of a place name – decides that name is now spelled with macrons, the Wikipedia article should change the very same day to reflect that, not wait for a generation! —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 23:52, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
Not helpful to your (evangelistic) case perhaps, nevertheless all (inc. Whanganui) very true. WP:COMMONNAME Macrons really is different. Keep them for now for the language (where I support them and have inserted them in articles using Maori names for Maori events). Eddaido (talk) 00:09, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
The way Giantflightlessbirds describes the situation aligns with my thinking and I certainly couldn't have expressed it with more eloquence. Consensus would appear to be that our naming conventions page will need updating. We should do that; this is a useful discussion. Schwede66 00:07, 7 May 2018 (UTC)

I'm very glad that we're not re-debating "Wanganui"/"Whanganui" here; that discussion was a lot more heated and contentious than this one :-) As you can imagine, this question (about whether a place name's page in the English-language Wikipedia should be titled with the place's common English-language spelling (without accents/diacritical marks), or a (sometimes more 'official') spelling (with accents/diacritical marks) from its language of origin) has come up several times. In almost every case (that I'm aware of), the consensus has been to use the common English-language spelling, following WP:COMMONNAME. Three prominent examples (again, thank heavens for copy-and-paste):

Ross Finlayson (talk) 00:38, 7 May 2018 (UTC)

I checked the Maori language act, LINZ, NZGB and [1] the relevant legislation that NZGB follows. There does seem to be some misunderstanding going on. Unless someone can offer a better interpretation of what these websites say, a place can have two used names (usually Maori and English) but usually only one is official, as determined by NZGB. NZGB can correct or alter spelling too. The term 'right/wrong' relates simply to the spelling in any given language. So, if Paekakariki's name is officially the Maori word, then the lack of macrons means it is spelt wrong, in Maori. It does not mean that the correct English spelling is with macrons. Seeing as this is an English language wiki I wonder if we should use the English word (no macrons) in the article and only use the macroned spelling as a side note, just as we would with most other place names with a different language official name. Much of the confusion is because the name in both languages is spelt the same or very similar. Another example - was the Wanganui change a correction of the official name, that was in Maori, or a change of official name from the English word to the Maori word? In either case, the correct English spelling has not been changed by NZGB, which is what seems to have caused so much annoyance. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 07:59, 7 May 2018 (UTC)

Thanks to Utunga for initiating this discussion, and for politely seeking to maintain his edit. I am genuinely puzzled by the assertion that there is an English name "Paekakariki" and a distinct but subtly different Māori name that used to be spelled "Paekakariki", but, with modern orthography, is now represented as "Paekākāriki". There are not two names in play here. This is not an Christchurch / Ōtautahi situation. In the gazetteer[2], "Paekakariki" is listed as "Māori name: yes". Remarkably, in this case there is alignment between government proclamation and commonsense. Phew. "Paekakariki" is a Māori name, however it is represented.

In English language contexts, "Paekākāriki" is a Māori language loan word. As it is a Māori word, it should be represented using Māori orthography. Yup, macrons. If we can manage it for café, or näive, or for Motörhead we can manage it for tohutō. On this issue, the New Zealand gazetteer makes the weak statement that "Not all Māori place names in the New Zealand Gazetteer have had their spelling checked for macrons." [3], acknowledging that they should not be used as the authority. Widespread adoption of macrons is relatively recent (thank-you, unicode), and so the representation of the place known as the parakeet ranges as "Paekākāriki" is also relatively recent. Giantflighlessbirds made this point well. Signage and so on takes a while to shift. Coincidentally, as of today, the New Zealand Herald is macron friendly[4]. If the Herald can manage it, Wikipedia can. Ready.eddy (talk) 12:01, 7 May 2018 (UTC)

If I could summarize what I've been saying in just one sentence, it's that "Wikipedia aims to be descriptive, rather than prescriptive". That's the motivation behind WP:COMMONNAME, and it's why the articles for "Montreal" and "San Jose (California)" are titled as such (in the English-language Wikipedia), despite these cities' 'official' names being spelled with diacriticals, reflecting their language of origin. One should also be careful using words like "correct" - as that can imply (often unintentionally) an attempt to curtail further debate. It's also important to keep remembering that we're talking about a page only in "" - the English-language Wikipedia; other languages (including Te Reo) have their own Wikipedias. It's quite clear that - in English - this town's common name remains "Paekakariki" (despite having come from a language where the name is now spelled with macrons). The current page for Paekakariki - in "" - reflects this. Ross Finlayson (talk) 12:50, 7 May 2018 (UTC)

Hey all.. thanks for the conversation! Just one thing, which I'm not sure is that relevant because at this stage the 'common usage' may or may not be the most relevant criteria but I just wanted to state for the record that I don't think the following statement from User:Rsfinlayson is accurate. He wrote: "It's quite clear that - in English - this town's common name remains 'Paekakariki'" . As a current resident of Paekākāriki I would dispute this. I find that when I see the name in written communication either informally - such as online on facebook or in email exchanges with locals or on the web - or formally - such as in written communications from the council, or in council minutes, or in communications from the school - the name is pretty much always spelled (in English language communications) as "Paekākāriki". I'd say a little under half the signs have macrons, and at least one sign has changed since google street view came through town, but signage is *not* really a particularly relevant way to determine 'common usage' anyway - aka "spelling which predominates in English language reliable sources". And as I say, common usage it seems may or may not be the relevant criteria we settle on. This discussion is mostly about what the rule should be and not about the one specific case, but I just wanted to say that IMHO it is not all true to say that it is 'quite clear' (as User:Rsfinlayson stated) that the town's common name remains 'Paekakariki'. It's at least open for debate and I would say probably even falls on the other side. This has been demonstrated pretty comprehensively in comments from others above, as well. Thanks Utunga (talk)
Yes, my survey of local signage came from Google Street View, and so may be a bit out of date (and was certainly incomplete). The next time I'm down in the area (perhaps in November or December), I'll make a point of stopping in the town (as it's so nice!) and driving around a bit to take a look in person. My survey found macrons on less than 15% of signs - so I think it may be a bit of an exaggeration :-) to claim that the actual number is "a little under half". (And my Google search returned a number much lower even than this - around 6%.) For this reason it seems clear to me that "Paekakariki" remains the common spelling in English.
I'd also be a bit wary of paying too much attention to the communication that you get through social media and mailing lists. People's social media/email communications tend to be concentrated on a 'bubble' of people with roughly shared interests - perhaps in this case including "people who enjoy seeing macrons in English" :-) And I'd find communications from the school to be a little more persuasive if they also took the time to macronize the two signs that they have in front of the school on Wellington Road :-) I strongly suspect that a survey of all of the town's residents would find that vast majority would prefer "Paekakariki" (again, when in English text); there's likely a "silent majority" who don't make a noise about this because they're happy with the status quo.
Ross Finlayson (talk) 00:32, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
user:Ready.eddy has neatly rephrased the point I was making, although he/she seems to draw a different conclusion, and has added another important point about loan words. Paekakariki with macrons can be used in English text but only if it is a loan word, otherwise it can not be used, because macrons do not exist in English. Whether it is a loan word is debatable but the evidence implies that it is not a loan word, but is a Maori word that is being used as the official place name (because legislation allows and encourages a Maori word to be made an official place name). In that case the 'correct' spelling, with or without macrons, is a matter for Maori speakers, not English s peakers (which we on this en-wiki site are). I like the reference to the wiki treatment of Montreal, a better reasoned guideline for us to follow I think. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 02:25, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
What is clear is that customs are changing in New Zealand, with the use of macrons becoming more common. Usage on Wikipedia needs to reflect that. The question is – when do we switch over to the version with macrons? Maybe that needs to be determined on a word-by-word basis. But the underlying development is that there is change. I don't buy the argument that this is a Māori language issue only as there are lots of words where the official English version of the word has adopted macrons. Some of the electorates are a case in point. Schwede66 04:14, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
People keep citing WP:COMMONNAME as if it was the most relevant guideline to apply here. COMMONNAME is intended to help decide an article title when there are several different valid names in use, by observing which are most prevalent. For example, over my lifetime stitchbirds are increasingly commonly being referred to as hihi, and there will come a time when that article will need to be retitled to reflect this.
But the very next paragraph in the article title guideline after WP:COMMONNAME is WP:NAMECHANGES, and it's surprising the COMMONNAME fans haven't read that far, because NAMECHANGES is more relevant to this discussion. In brief, when a name has changed, we give more weight to reliable sources, especially official authoritative sources, written after the name change; if they use the new name, the Wikipedia article should too. The vast majority of New Zealanders might refer to the Department of Work and Income as WINZ, but that hasn’t been its name for about 18 years. If we were to create a Wikipedia page for it, the title would not be WINZ! We'd simply disregard WP:COMMONNAME, and rightly so, because the Department's name is not WINZ.
This is relevant because (and I really have to stress this because some people still don’t seem to have realised it) in 2010 the town’s name was changed from Paekakariki to Paekākāriki. In 2010 the Kapiti Coast District Council – the governing body for the town – decided that henceforth “Paekākāriki” was the spelling to be used: you can read the Council decision here.[5] “During the next 20 years, macrons would be added to council signs, buildings, cars and documents” as budgets permitted.[6] This was done with the support of the New Zealand Geographic Board, who delegate how town names are spelled to the local governing body. The District Council gets to decide what the name of the town is: it's one of the perks of running a place. Talk of “social media bubbles” and Google Street View and the imagined opinions of Paekākāriki residents is all irrelevant. All that matters is whether the name with macrons is the prevailing one being used – in English, since 2010 – in official documents, reliable sources, media (media able to print macrons, at least), Government publications, etc. If that's the case then, according to WP:NAMECHANGE that should be reflected in the article title too. If Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand) doesn't allow us to do that, we should change the naming conventions. It may be time for a vote. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 10:23, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
WINZ is an acronym, not a common name. NZGB did not delegate its ultimate legal responsibility to change the name to the council: it can't. The spelling change is because the official name was implicitly confirmed to be in the Maori language and that is how it is spelt in Maori. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 12:21, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

No, there hasn't been any official 'name change'; LINZ still records the name as "Paekakariki". This was just the council deciding to use the macron in its documents. WP:COMMONNAME quite clearly still applies here, and even it warns not to get too hung up on so-called 'official' names - which is why we still have articles named "Montreal" and "San Jose (California)". But in this particular case ("Paekakariki"), there's no credible evidence that the macronised name predominates in English, outside the council (and a school's website). Ross Finlayson (talk) 13:35, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

Tēnā koutou kātoa, ngā mihi nui ki ngā tāngata whenua—kia kaha tō koutou ahi kā. I want to acknowledge that we are talking about Māori placenames here—these name were given and used by Māori, as part of their mana whenua. Land is of central to Māori identity and well-being. During the colonial period, land was taken from Māori to make way for settlers and in the twentieth century, Māori culture and language were suppressed. The impacts of colonization on Māori are deep and long-lasting. For these reasons, discussion about removing macrons is not neutral. Asserting that there is an English version of Māori names, that is separated from Māori, is a position that I expect many Māori would find offensive. Some of the arguments raised here echo arguments that have been used to suppress and diminish Māori culture: the idea that macrons are appropriate on the Māori language Wikipedia but not on the English language Wikipedia is a marginalization of Māori; the idea that the policy can be determined by common usage, in a pākehā dominated society, is the kind of argument that was used to suppress Te Reo; statements that macrons are a nuisance are a statement that convenience is more important than Māori culture; deferring to practice in the United States or Canada is diminishing Māori agency.

While macrons are a symbol, usage of macrons acknowledges that these names are Māori names. Rather than using rules based on common usage, or on official usage, I want to propose that the general rule for New Zealand naming conventions ([[2]] ), Māori words, when they appear as the title of articles, are usually given with macrons where appropriate is extended to include place names. This rule should be applied uniformly to all place-names (where the representation of the Māori name can be determined). As witnessed in the exchange between Giantflightlessbirds and RsFinlayson, relying on official determination appears superficially straightforward, but is a path to argument and discussion. Many local authorities in New Zealand have poor Māori representation, and do not have the resources or focus to consider this issue. LINZ acknowledge that they are not a reliable authority on the use of macrons, and many names do not have an official form. A simple, principled, rule would allow decisions by Wikipedia authors in the majority of cases.

In saying this, I want to acknowledge that I am a pākehā New Zealander. Given that this discussion is about Māori placenames, it is vital that Māori perspectives are sought. Ready.eddy (talk) 18:08, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

Yes, of course this is a Maori name. And I totally accept the perspective that there is just one 'name' here - but the key point here is that this one name can and is written/spelled differently in different languages. I.e., try to distinguish the abstract 'name' from the way that the name is written. (As someone with a background in mathematics, this makes sense to me; but I understand that some others might have trouble grasping this perspective.) But, specifically:

  1. In Te Reo, the town's name is (now) written: "Paekākāriki".
  2. In English, the town's name is most-commonly written "Paekakariki" (though is also written "Paekākāriki" by some).
  3. in Russian, the town's name would be written (using the Cyrillic alphabet) something like "Пaekakapиkи".
  4. In Chinese, the town's name would be written (using Chinese characters) in a way that matches the pronunciation - something like (I won't even hazard a guess :-)
  5. etc. for other world languages, many of which have their own Wikipedias.

I.e., one name - but written different ways in different languages. What we're discussing here is #2: How the town's name should be written (as a page title) in the English-language Wikipedia. In this case, I see no strong case for moving from WP:COMMONNAME.

I do, however, appreciate "Ready.eddy" being honest about his point-of-view regarding the importance of a Maori perspective, and his desire to macronise all Maori place names (in the English Wikipedia). Other people who have favoured the macronised spelling appear to have the same point-of-view, but have have been more reluctant to state it explicitly - but have instead resorted to some (IMHO) tortured logic and very selective choice of examples to try to justify this point-of-view. This point-of-view might actually be right. Or it might not. And that's *precisely* the problem. For every argument in favour of macronising Maori place names in English, there is probably another argument against it, arguably equally valid. (Off the top of my head, I can think of at least three arguments that one might make against macronising Maori place names in English.) Wikipedia aims for a 'neutral point-of-view' *precisely* for this reason - to try to avoid the factionalism (and edit-warring) that would likely result if a non-neutral POV were followed.

In this case, it seems that the best way to adopt a 'neutral point-of-view' is *not* to try to resolve this debate ourselves. Instead, let the people as a whole resolve this, by considering how the town's name is most-commonly written in English - i.e., WP:COMMONNAME. This is what is done in Wikipedia for place names in other English-speaking nations around the world. Often, essentially the same arguments (about respecting the culture of the name's origin) are made - but in each case, WP:COMMONNAME is used as a guideline instead. I see no reason to depart from common Wikipedia practice here. Ross Finlayson (talk) 19:11, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

Thanks User:Rsfinlayson for acknowledging my perspective. I do support the consistent use of macrons on all Māori words (including for birds such as tūī, but that is for another day!). However, I am going to pick a bit more at the idea that macrons are not appropriate for place names in the English Wikipedia. It is unclear to me why place names should be treated differently from other words. The existence of a page on, for example, Pākehā demonstrates that in English language contexts we are able to use and understand macrons. Macrons are part of an extended New Zealand English character set that is needed for using Māori words. Interestingly, by the google search test, "Pakeha" has over one-million hits, while "Pākehā" has less than 400,000. So the existence of a page on Pākehā, demonstrates both that macronisation occurs in English language Wikipedia, and that popularity (admittedly through an unreliable metric like Google hits) is not a criterion for determining the use of macrons. Ready.eddy (talk) 19:41, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

IMHO, what makes place names (especially of towns/cities) a bit different from other names is that they're places where people live, work, own businesses (whose names often include the place name) and generally have a close personal association with, and whose names they tend to write very frequently. That's just my perspective, but for now at least, I think it makes sense to focus this particular discussion on place names (especially of towns/cities). I'll let you fight the "tui"/"tūī" battle on it's own talk page (good luck with that one :-)

Ross Finlayson (talk) 19:57, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

It is unclear to me why place names should be treated differently from other words. Because of the law. Crown entities and various govt bodies, including councils, are obliged, and are allowed to, promote the Maori language in areas over which they have control. Hence, for example the increasingly frequent use of the Maori language by presenters on RNZ. The official, legal, names of places is the responsibility of NZGB, determined by legislation. Legislation also requires these govt bodies to actively promote the Maori language where they can. This is the NZ version of positive discrimination. The official naming of, and spelling of, birds is not covered by legislation so it falls outside the remit of the bureaucrats. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 21:37, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
Except that this is Wikipedia that we're talking about here - not New Zealand :-) (And in any case, by Wikipedia convention, 'official names' are only a secondary consideration (behind 'common names') when considering the titles of pages.) Ross Finlayson (talk) 22:52, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
To clarify my position, reference on this site to NZ place names must be the English language version, with reference in the text to the Maori name. The only way that a place name should have macrons is if 1/ the Maori language version is used in English as a loan word or, 2a/ If the English language name is officially the Maori spelling version AND 2b/ that Maori spelling version is in common use by reliable secondary sources. The evidence points against 2a making 2b irrelevant, even though I think the Maori spelling is not commonly used anyway. 1/ is possible, that words like Paekakariki have always been considered loan words, but I think it is more likely that they are simply anglicised versions of a Maori word. If I am causing offence to Maori, I must be missing something, because I cannot for the life of me, on this en-wiki, see how this is being offensive. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 23:37, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

Sigh... It seems that the New Zealand Herald has now discovered (or more likely, been tipped off to) this discussion. Expect shortly to see an article about it - where all of our comments/positions (and especially mine :-) are sure to be distorted and misinterpreted :-( Ross Finlayson (talk) 23:58, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

Good, it would be nice for the public to see that Wikipedia is alive and that debate and consensus happen all the time here.
I've said about all I want to for the moment, and won't even go back and take the time to correct the incorrect statements about WINZ not being a name, LINZ and the NZGB the arbiter of how places are spelled, and the bizarre idea that changing the spelling of a name is somehow not the same as changing the name. It's not that important. For me the crux of the argument is this statement by RsFinlayson:
what makes place names (especially of towns/cities) a bit different from other names is that they're places where people live, work, own businesses (whose names often include the place name) and generally have a close personal association with, and whose names they tend to write very frequently.
How on earth does that make place names special; more special than personal names like Māui Pōmare, and extremely common New Zealand English words like Māori and pākehā? This argument seem to boil down to "I don't like change". I cannot see why place names get special rules. We've all adjusted to the idea that the correct orthography of Māori is with a macron (except for some of the commentators here, who seem determined to be a decade or two out of date – guys, google "how do I type macrons" if you're having trouble, rather than loudly complain about having to copy and paste). Wikipedia articles are gradually being updated to reflect the current spellings. If special rules should prevail for place names, and absolutely no other Māori words, in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand), I would like to see a logical argument from the proponents of the status quo that explains why. Otherwise let's change those naming conventions. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 01:56, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
Count yourself lucky that Māui Pōmare can't come back from the dead to tell us how to spell his name :-) :-) Ross Finlayson (talk) 02:49, 9 May 2018 (UTC)

The Kapiti Coast decision, based on legal advice it obtained, [3] is very helpful. This is not the place for point scoring but so we keep on track the KCC confirms in s4 the Geographic Board makes a distinction between a name (its responsibility) and pronunciation (not its function) . It then goes on to show in more detail how the issue of macrons is merely an aid to pronunciation and does not amount to a name change or a spelling change. The decision to use the macrons is at the discretion of any given council. Using that legally based opinion by Kapiti Coast, we on en-wiki should not use macrons because place names like Kapiti and Paekakariki have not had their names or spellings changed at all, and their official names (as well as their common usage names) remain the same without macrons. It might be that in the future macrons will become more widely used, and will become the commonly used name, but for now that is not the case. What role then do macrons play? They are discretionary opinion based techniques used by, in this case, a council, to promote an agenda - its need in law to promote the Maori cause. I think we here would call it a point of view that should be removed. Should we then remove forthwith macrons from articles with Maori place name headings? Roger 8 Roger (talk) 07:18, 9 May 2018 (UTC)

You missed out the bit where "the [Geographic] Board will fully support any action taken to ensure the correct pronunciation is used" and "endorses the use of macrons as a way to indicate pronunciation." By the way, I'm finding it illuminating to actually check the NZ Geographic Board Gazetteer, the official list of NZ place names, rather than just accept what people tell us.
1. "Paekakariki" is not an official name. The town does not have an official NZGB name, despite what was implied earlier in this discussion. Who then decides how it's spelled? I would suggest the District Council elected by the people of Paekākāriki, with the support of the NZ Geographic Board who (as we've seen) endorse the use of macrons.
2. "Paekākāriki Hill" is however an official name, with macrons. Again, despite what's been implied in this discussion so far, many place names in NZ have an official name that uses macrons – you can download a helpful list from LINZ. So here's a question for the macron sceptics: if we created a Wikipedia page for Paekākāriki Hill, what would its title be? According to our current naming conventions, it would be "Paekakariki Hill". Which is not the official name. That seems absurd, to me, and I presume to at least some people. Hence this whole discussion, on why the naming conventions have to change. (Still waiting for an explanation of why place names require different rules from all other article titles, BTW.) —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 08:47, 9 May 2018 (UTC)

If macrons do not change the name/spelling (same thing), as NZGB has said, then the now official name of Paekakariri Hill and other places is as I have just typed it. The macrons that appear on the NZGB site of officially created place names are superfluous and have been added simply as an aid to pronunciation, just as KCC did on its road signs. Whanganui/Wanganui might be different because the spelling/name has changed. The official name of the place is Paekakariki. Does this mean our disagreement is about nothing? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Roger 8 Roger (talkcontribs) 21:36, May 9, 2018 (UTC)

The NZ Herald story on this discussion is here Nick-D (talk) 10:51, 10 May 2018 (UTC)

I had feared a 'hatchet job', but - to my surprise - the article was actually quite fair and balanced (despite the author being an unabashed Macronista). (It seems that my reverse-psychology worked :-) My only real complaint is that the discussion was portrayed as being solely between "Utunga" (Miles Thompson) and me - ignoring useful comments by others (especially "Ready.eddy" and "Roger 8 Roger"). Ross Finlayson (talk) 11:05, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
I agree Ross Finlayson all in all I think she did a great job. A lot of research and good on her for going around checking original sources on a bunch of things. (I'll admit that I did mention on facebook that it would've been nice if she had also sought an opinion from Ngati Hamuia, Ngati Toa, Te Ati Awa or other relevant hapu or iwi in the region. As a newspaper story about Paekākāriki - as oppposed to a discussion on en.wikipedia about what is the best rule in general - I think that would've been a nice perspective to include). Also yeah I agree with you that a lot of important contributions from other folks such as Ready.eddy, Roger 8 Roger and Giantflightlessbirds on here. That said I think it was a solid piece of reporting all in all. Good work. Also I just realised that now that she has done the research we can cite the original sources she checked without violating [original research?] ;-) Utunga (talk)


Explanation needed[edit]

  • On May 7, Utunga and Ready.eddy were both using the exact same IP while responding to this noticeboard. They need to explain.
     — Berean Hunter (talk) 21:11, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
Sure thing. Ready.eddy is my boss so when at work we come from the same IP. Early edits from me on this topic were from my home IP. But as you can imagine it was a topic of conversation around the water cooler, especially given that the project we're both working on has a large Te Reo component. SoI guess at some point Ready.eddy made some edits from work and maybe i did too - but only minor ones ! (heh) If you look at most of our edits they will be on our respective home IPs but wouldn't surprise me if we've also gone out from the work IP at least once each (maybe more). VPN usage may also be involved with this. Anyway all above board I can assure you. No sock puppets here and you can see that we've both had accounts for some number of years [1] [2] with history from totally different IP addresses of long time periods. Utunga (talk)
I follow both these guys on Twitter, and though I've only met one of them I'm pretty sure they're different people! —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 07:24, 10 May 2018 (UTC)

Common names apply[edit]

  • Fallacious argument to authority - Since when does it matter to the greater majority of English speakers in the world what some nation or people decide to call themselves? Their councils and courts have no authority over the English language outside of their own realm of influence. In this case, none of it extends outside of New Zealand. Any idea that someone there controls the English language for speakers abroad is laughable.
  • English speakers of the world commonly call a certain country Germany but the people that live there call it Deutschland. No court, leader or council there would have the authority to order the rest of the world to stop calling it Germany and start calling it Deutschland. If they decided to change their name then that might be another matter but for now, the argument that would prevail here on the English Wikipedia would be based on the Common name policy. The matter is easy to prove.
  • The same might be said for the place that the world calls Japan. The people that live there call it Nippon but in English usage is clear.
  • So, to the world the name is Maori. Paekakariki is the correct English word and so is Pakeha. These results are based on a large volume that allows us to sample reliable sources. Trying to argue that they are wrong or haven't caught up yet is fallacious and shows inherent bias.
  • Macrons do not exist in the English language except where efforts are being made to illustrate phonetics. Our spellcheckers all flag macrons and most diacritics as being wrong because they are.
  • Wikipedia isn't the place to try to right great wrongs. Trying to introduce Maori language spellings into English applies here. It should also be pointed out that anything that is decided by WikiProject New Zealand must be inline with the larger English Wikipedia project's policies and guidelines. A local consensus here would not outweigh WP project interests.
     — Berean Hunter (talk) 14:33, 10 May 2018 (UTC)

User:Berean Hunter much of what you have said has been discussed above already.

In the interests of finding a resolution I think it's fair to say it comes down to the question of whether you think that

1. There are two names for the place - Paekakariki (in english) and Paekākāriki (in Māori).. 2. Or just one name.

If there are two names then "Common Usage" / WP:COMMONNAME would seem to apply. If there is only one name then it's just a question of how to spell that name and authoritative sources would seem to apply.

In either case the current rule - "Rules of Māori place names are still under discussion, but at present, where the usual name of a place is Māori, macrons are not used in the name." - has got to go.

If we consider that there are two names and we are referencing Common Usage WP:COMMONNAME then "Use the spelling which 'predominates in English language reliable sources'" would seem to be the relevant phrasing - and so we can rule out counting street signs or google searches but need to define what is regarded as an English language reliable source. If we think there is only one name (which is my position - but see the comments from Giantflightlessbirds and Ready.eddy above who put it better than I) then I think there isn't much debate what that spelling should be.

Given that we are rehashing old ground here and the two choices are pretty clearly worked out is it time for a vote? Utunga (talk)

"Utunga", it sounds like you are defining the word "name" a bit differently from the way I do. For me (perhaps because I have a background in maths/CS), a "name" is an abstract entity, with several different "spellings" - one for each language. In this case, there's just one "name" for the town, but multiple spellings: "Paekākāriki" (in Maori), "Paekakariki" (in English), "Пaekakapиkи" (in Russian), "???" (in Chinese), etc. But you seem to define "name" the way I define "spelling". That's fine - perhaps my perspective is strange for many people. Therefore, perhaps to avoid confusion we should all just use the word "spelling" rather than "name" from now on. In any case, there are multiple "spellings" of the town's name - there just have to be! If someone wanted (for some odd reason) to write a page about this town in the Russian Wikipedia, they'd want to title it (something like) "Пaekakapиkи"; it wouldn't be reasonable for us at all to insist that they title it "Paekākāriki", or "Paekakariki".
So, in this case, what we're discussing is: What should the town's "spelling" be in the English-language Wikipedia? I see no reason to not continue to follow WP:COMMONNAME. (Of course, we also note the Maori-language spelling as well, as the page does currently.)
Ross Finlayson (talk) 23:15, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
Dang. I really hoped we were at a clear either/or choice at this point and could make clear process. For what it's worth i did read your argument about multiple references to the same thing from different languages above and understood it pretty well I think. (I'm a computer programmer, and have a degree in Math etc also, btw). I don't see much value in stating it again.
Given that we're kind of just rehashing comments from earlier in the thread at this point is it time for a vote? Can we at least agree that the guideline at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand) - should be "in the case where the usual name of a place is Māori" either :
> Based partly on WP:COMMONNAME, "Use the spelling which 'predominates in English language reliable sources'".
> Based partly on WP:NAMECHANGES, "Give weight to reliable sources, especially official authoritative sources"
The first approach would seem to be in keeping with the idea that there is an English and Māori name or at the very least an English and Māori way to spell the name of the location sometimes referred to as 'Pie Cock' - respectively, Paekakariki and Paekākāriki.
The second approach (which I would advocate for) would seem to be in keeping with the idea that there is only one name for the place and it's just a question of how, definitively speaking, it should be spelt.
If we can't agree, just yet, on what is the best approach can we at least agree that those are the two options we should be choosing from?
Time to put this forward for a wider vote ??

Still too many uncertainties in my book to form a question on which to vote. Example: Should any comments on place names by NZGB be considered a reliable secondary source? They are primary sources because NZGB is commenting on its own opinion, and that primary source is not factually undisputed. The same could also be said of comments on place names by other Crown entities or govt run bodies: it is the Crown commenting on itself and is therefore OR. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 00:50, 11 May 2018 (UTC)

Roger 8 Roger - in this instance NZGB is a primary source - see WP:PSTS and therefore meets WP:RS, it is not WP:OR NealeFamily (talk) 01:52, 11 May 2018 (UTC)

Getting to consensus[edit]

I'd like to try and move this conversation towards actually arriving at a consensus on what the guidelines should be.

Specifically, I'm hoping to reach some sort of consensus on what the "Rules of Māori place names" at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand) should be.

In the name of taking small steps towards consensus can we at least agree that the current guidelines need to be fixed? Currently this reads:

"Rules of Māori place names are still under discussion, but at present, where the usual name of a place is Māori, macrons are not used in the name"

I think it is clear from the above conversation that there are two main camps (maybe with some variations amongst that). Some folks argue that Māori spelling should *always* be used (with macrons when necessary). Conversely, some argue that we should respect common usage (with exactly how to define 'common usage' somewhat up for debate). But nobody is arguing that we should *never* use macrons right? So, can we start by agreeing that the current phrasing needs to be improved on?Can we agree that "macrons are not used" is too strong a phrasing to use for all placenames, in all cases, especially given that all other Māori words in titles, and when given as an alternative name, are expected to *always* have macrons when indicated? Utunga (talk)

@Utunga: Please sign your posts by appending four wave characters which will automatically add the time and date. It's so simple, just ~ ~ ~ ~ without the spaces. Akld guy (talk) 07:29, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
Isn't that what I did? Did I do it wrong? Utunga (talk) 09:02, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
I've been following this thread since the start and you've failed to sign on several occasions. It makes those posts look like they were made by the person who posted immediately below yours. I'm not being snarky, there's simply no other way to draw your attention to this. Akld guy (talk) 09:51, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

Bottom right of your screen when finished editing, where it says 'sign your posts' Roger 8 Roger (talk) 09:09, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

Hold on. I'm arguing that if its the common name macrons should never be used. Its too soon. Eddaido (talk) 09:48, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
I suggest a better way to characterise the pro-macron camp is "NZ place names should follow the same rule as other NZ article titles." Then it's a matter of deciding whether the most recent/official/common/authoritative version of the name uses macrons. Given the orthography of most Māori words (including the word Māori) is rapidly changing to include macrons, WP:COMMONNAME is not as good a guideline as WP:NAMECHANGES. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 10:43, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
....except WP:NAMECHANGES does not apply to non-English place names. The Maori language is not English and this is the English Wikipedia. Also, WP:COMMONNAME is a policy and not a guideline. The pro-macron camp haven't successfully made a policy-based argument.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 11:10, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
Both WP:NAMECHANGES and WP:COMMONNAME are policy. Our problem here is deciding which is the appropriate one in this case. If we now, in English, agree to start spelling some Māori words with macrons, WP:COMMONNAME will be misleading as I've argued above.
The genesis of this entire debate, as we can see from the beginning, was that the policies for place names differ from all other Māori words. Because these policies differ for no clear reason, the onus is actually on the anti-macron camp to come up with a reason why place names and no other Māori loanwords shouldn't use macrons in titles. I'm still waiting for the Wikipedia policy-based argument. Why are the rules different for place names, and only for place names?
And I keep hearing this strange idea that a word with a macron isn't English, by definition, because macrons don't exit in English. According to this view, "Maori" is the English word, and "Māori" is Te Reo. But that's just bizarre. I'm no linguist, but there are plenty of Te Reo words that are good English loanwords; they are English words, being used as titles in English Wikipedia, and yes, lots of English loanwords use accent marks: see the list of English words that use diacritics – including macrons. Macrons do exist in English. Can people stop repeating this falsehood?
Some people seem to be arguing that English Wikipedia shouldn't use macrons at all, anywhere. Sorry, but that debate is over. Macrons in Wikipedia article titles are here to stay. That's not the issue under discussion. Both sides have had plenty of time to come up with reasoned arguments why we should or shouldn't have two different contradictory policies for use of macrons in different New Zealand article titles. I think it's high time for a vote here. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 13:31, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
Macrons are never, ever required in the English language. In what you have linked, "Modern native English words are generally written without any accent marks, and over time anglicization has removed diacritics from certain loan words." <== That is one of the beauties of the language.
"...the onus is actually on the anti-macron camp", it isn't. This thread started because someone tried to introduce macrons in the article on Paekakariki and had those changes reverted. When they were pointed to a WikiProject NZ guideline here, they began this thread to try to change things but have not made a convincing argument. They canvassed another editor which may be considered a meatpuppet and whose !vote wouldn't count now. Why would the onus be on those that have cited the status quo?
"According to this view, "Maori" is the English word, and "Māori" is Te Reo. But that's just bizarre." I demonstrated that earlier but you failed to parse the evidence correctly. Maori is the English word.
"Sorry, but that debate is over. Macrons in Wikipedia article titles are here to stay." Who says? 1.) Consensus can change and 2.) "Consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale" and "participants in a wikiproject cannot decide that some generally accepted policy or guideline does not apply to articles within its scope. Wikiproject advice pages, how-to and information pages, and template documentation pages have not formally been approved by the community through the policy and guideline proposal process, thus have no more status than an essay." You may not realize this but nothing that is decided here has any meaning to it. WP editors do not have to follow the desires of WikiProject NZ and may begin moving articles to match English names anytime that they want. WikiProject NZ has no authority. Go ask another admin if you don't believe me. This kind of local consensus that you are trying to decide here in a microcosm has no teeth if it deviates from broader accepted practice.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 15:11, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
No, this is a discussion to determine consensus on a proposed change to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand), prior to possibly changing. It should really be happening on Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (New Zealand); a similar discussion took place in November 2010 over commas vs parentheses in names, starting here and moving to NZ Naming Conventions Talk. But that's what we're doing here. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 20:36, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
My position is not as rigid as "Berean Hunter's"; I *do* think that macrons are often appropriate for pages in the English Wikipedia - when the pages are describing things that are *intrinsically Maori*. For example, nobody (not even I) would complain about Ngāti Whātua using macrons to title the page that describes their iwi - even in the English-language Wikipedia; it would seem a bit silly to insist otherwise. But place names (especially of towns) are different; as I noted earlier: "they're places where people live, work, own businesses (whose names often include the place name) and generally have a close personal association with". The town of Paekakariki is not intrinsically Maori (nor, of course, intrinsically Pakeha). The town just happens to take its name from the Maori name of a nearby geographic feature (in this case, a hill). (The same is true for many other NZ towns.) There's no *inherent* reason why the English-language spelling of the town's name should use macrons just because the Maori-language spelling of the corresponding geographic feature (now) uses macrons.) That's precisely why the policy for place names can be different than that for other Maori-origin names, and why WP:COMMONNAME remains an appropriate policy for the English-language Wikipedia page titles for NZ towns (which is all that we're discussing here, remember).
Ross Finlayson (talk) 16:56, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
My opinion is that macrons are not a spelling variation but a neologist guide to pronunciation, and therefore they should not be used in article titles. In the text of articles, they should be used on every occasion that the word appears, as a guide to pronouncing the word. Akld guy (talk) 20:02, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
Agreed. This appears to be the appropriate action based on policy. At the risk of dragging this extremely long-winded discussion out even further, I would be extremely reluctant in any case to name an article based on any pronunciation when the supposed correctness of that pronunciation is a matter of (academic) debate. DerbyCountyinNZ (Talk Contribs) 21:09, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
"My opinion is that macrons are not a spelling variation but a neologist guide to pronunciation, and therefore they should not be used in article titles." Your... opinion? It's a fact that macrons indicate how to prounce Māori words. — Hugh (talk) 04:17, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
That's what I said. Macrons are a guide to pronunciation, nothing more. Akld guy (talk) 04:39, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
This sub-discussion should be at the end to avoid being impossible to find. Anyway, I am pleased there is a sort of consensus that macrons are a spelling aid, not a spelling change. Less pleased, more surprised, at the idea of using them in the body of the article to tell the reader how to pronounce the word. At the start perhaps, as with other language titles, but it is illogical to do it elsewhere. WP telling English language speakers how to pronounce a word? With all the accents available, how many thousand variations will there be? It is not WP's job to tell English speakers how to pronounce a word when speaking English. We can advise on the Maori pronunciation, but as said, that is done in the first line. And this does not take into account any dialect variations within Maori, if there are any. NZGB says it's not its job to rule on pronunciation; nether it is ours! Roger 8 Roger (talk) 05:08, 30 May 2018 (UTC)


Agree with above. It seems the cause of this much wider national dispute is the misuse of the word 'spelling' and the confusion that has arisen from that. Diacritics, like macrons, do not change the spelling of a word. This is confirmed by NZGB. This means that Paikakariki is spelt without macrons in both English and Maori. In Maori use macrons are added by almost everyone for reasons to do with Maori; in English we do not add them for reasons to do with English, which includes macrons not being part of the English language and because there is no pronunciation aid needed. Various local governments choose to use them, as does NZGB itself, again, for reasons to do with themselves, such as their legal requirement to promote the Maori language and culture. Here on WP we do not need to promote any language or culture, we just need to stick to WP rules. This is an English language article so English comes first, meaning the title of the Paikakariki article should not have macrons. The Whanganui debate is often mixed in with the macron debate but it should not be - Wanganui did actually have its spelling officially changed with the addition of a letter. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 21:54, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
The spelling of the word is Paekākāriki or if you remove the macrons, Paekakariki. Defintely not Paikakariki. Clearly one for sticking to the facts there Roger 8 Rogher. Furthermore, the spelling was never changed, it was always spelled both ways, but the local Kapiti District council (who are the people of record on this matter) has 100% and definitely clarified that the correct official spelling is Paekākāriki, as noted above. And refusal to accept this fact is indication that you are not interested in the facts of the matter but rather in choosing facts to suit your perspective. Utunga (talk) 05:42, 27 May 2018 (UTC)

Anyway, this was a process question. Can we please - please - address the question of process without re-litigating the actual issue. (PLenty of room for that above ^^^). How does Wikipedia/NZ Wikipedia actually arrive at a consensus? Because if there is no process then I don't see why one shouldn't just revert the page back to the way it was, since there is apparently no actual process nor method for achieving that. Utunga (talk) 05:42, 27 May 2018 (UTC)

To speed up a debate which has taken far longer than it should and is becoming circular I'll start a sub-header requesting editors list whether they agree to the change to spelling with macrons or disagree in which case the current spelling is retained, based on policy. DerbyCountyinNZ (Talk Contribs) 07:26, 27 May 2018 (UTC)
Oh well, I've been accused of worse things than weaselling the evidence. How about this. KCC does not determine the official name of a place: NZGB does. But wait, there's more. As I posted much further back in this extended debate - The Kapiti Coast decision, based on legal advice it obtained, [3] is very helpful. This is not the place for point scoring but so we keep on track the KCC confirms in s4 the Geographic Board makes a distinction between a name (its responsibility) and pronunciation (not its function) . It then goes on to show in more detail how the issue of macrons is merely an aid to pronunciation and does not amount to a name change or a spelling change. 'Officially' KCC uses macrons. That's fine, it can probably do that by its legal discretion. But, that does not change the official spelling, that KCC confirms is not its job to do. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 07:00, 27 May 2018 (UTC)

Wait so that's it?[edit]

Can someone explain to me how decisions usually get made here? Is there some back room where the decisions atually get made, or some sort of public process? If the latter, what is it? Because this question has been talked to death and there is no consensus. Plenty of clarity imho but no actual actionable consensus yet? Utunga (talk) 11:33, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

Karapōnia? They don't seem to follow your suggested standards at the Maori Wikipedia. If they did then they would call it by its official name, California, right?. The correct English orthography has never included a macron. What gives? Don't y'all practice what y'all preach? Double standard?...or is that the correct name in Maori?
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 12:39, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
Oh my goodness who excatly is "y'all" in this sentence about "y'all practicing what y'all preach" Berean Hunter? The true source of your discomfort with the use of macrons rearing it's ugly head. And why on earth when I ask a process question does everyone respond with a comment about the substance of the matter. The place for discussing the actual question is up there ^^^. I was genuinely asking what the actual process for getting to a decision is. Utunga (talk) 05:34, 27 May 2018 (UTC)

Official name, per NZGB and Local Council is Paekākāriki, not Paekakariki[edit]

Contrary to incorrect statements above, the official name (per NZGB and Kapiti District Council) is, unquestionably, Paekākāriki. Here are two, very clear references on this.

  "Secretary of the New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa Wendy Shaw confirmed that while maps often used the name without macrons, it was not official. "Paekākāriki Hill for the hill and the surrounding rural locality are both official names, having been through the Board's process. The Board's research at the time confirmed that the use of macrons was correct, based on expert advice."

From "Battle of the macrons for Wikipedia spelling of Paekākāriki" [1]

  "In April 2010, the Council resolved: That the Kāpiti Coast District Council uses a macron in any spelling of the words Kāpiti, Ōtaki or Paekākāriki in any Council papers, publications, maps or signage."


I can't see how anyone can read the above and conclude anything other than that "the official name of the place is Paekākāriki". With that in mind I propse to change the spelling on the Paekākāriki page back to "Paekākāriki". Utunga (talk) 05:58, 27 May 2018 (UTC)

Actually, LINZ (aka. NZGB) lists "Paekākāriki *Hill*", not "Paekākāriki", as an official name. It also lists "Paekakariki" (no macrons), for the town (as opposed to the hill), but notes that "This name is not official - this feature does not have an official name". (Note, BTW, that LINZ also lists "Kapiti Coast District" (no macrons) as an "official name" - so this district council is apparently choosing to use a non-official spelling for its own district :-) In any case, Wikipedia policy is for common names to take precedence over 'official names' (which are often instated for political reasons, and don't necessarily reflect common/popular usage - as is the case here).
Sorry, but there's simply no consensus to change the spelling of this town's English-language Wikipedia page.
Ross Finlayson (talk) 06:28, 27 May 2018 (UTC)
I provided very clearly referenced statements from authoritative, recent, sources representing both organizations, above. You then baldly contradict these statements without bothering to provide sources. Utunga (talk) 03:41, 3 June 2018 (UTC)


Could editors note whether they feel the current article title should be retained (i.e. no macrons) or changed along with the policy or policies they base this on, without any further comment for the sake of brevity.

  • Change policy so that all Māori words are spelt with macrons as appropriate (e.g, the same rules apply for place names, bird names etc, as for other words).Ready.eddy (talk) 20:49, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Retain current based on WP:NAME and WP:ENGLISH. DerbyCountyinNZ (Talk Contribs) 07:32, 27 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Retain current title which is Paekakariki without macrons, and ensure that all Maori names in the text are macron versions where applicable. Akld guy (talk) 08:14, 27 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Retain current WP:NAME And remove all macrons from English language articles unless a situation clearly warrants their use. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 08:34, 27 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Retain current until the NZGB, which rules on NZ placenames, changes the name of the township. I do not agree with Roger 8 Roger that this applies to all NZ place names. Each case stands or falls on its own merits. NealeFamily (talk) 10:51, 27 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Retain current based on WP:NAME and WP:ENGLISH. Bigglesjames (talk) 21:18, 27 May 2018 (UTC)

This is actually voting on two things: should the article title be Paekākāriki, and should the placename macron policy be changed? It's possible that someone might be in favour of the policy change, but not agree that Paekākāriki's name meets the criteria. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 23:58, 27 May 2018 (UTC)

I agree. The root of this is the macron consensus decision. If that were changed to no macrons then the Paekakariki title would be automatically left unchanged with no macrons. If we agree in this vote to leave Paekakariki without macrons, then what do we do about other places with macrons, like Kaikora. IMO we are still muddling up issues: official/unofficial - English/Maori - common use/not common use. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 00:18, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Change policy so place names that by WP:COMMONNAME or WP:NAMECHANGES are spelled with macrons follow the same NZ naming conventions as other Māori words with macrons, and change spelling of Paekākāriki article. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 23:58, 27 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Change policy as set out above by @Giantflightlessbirds and change spelling of Paekākāriki article. Ambrosia10 (talk) 01:07, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Change policy/guidelines as set out above by @Giantflightlessbirds and revert spelling of Paekākāriki article back to how it was, to reflect the new guidelines. Utunga (talk) 03:43, 3 June 2018 (UTC)
    • @Ambrosia10 and Giantflightlessbirds:, you have both misread the options. Changing policy isn't one of them and it isn't within the purview of a WikiProject to change any policy. It isn't "changed along with the policy". DerbyCountyinNZ proposed (with my comma) "or changed, along with the policy or policies they base this on..." and he was wanting editors to state what policies they were basing their decision upon. He wasn't implying a change of any policy.
       — Berean Hunter (talk) 02:17, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
    • Yes, I can see I misread the initial request. But there's no reason why people cannot say, in addition to what the article title should be, whether they think Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand) should also change. Nobody has said this is a !vote on new wording, whatever that might be. It could be helpful to see where the editing community sits on this matter. –Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 02:49, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Retain current based on WP:COMMONNAME (but continue to note the Maori-language spelling as well, near the top of the article). Don't consider changing titles for NZ towns (in the English-language Wikipedia) unless/until there's clear evidence that the macronised spelling dominates English usage, especially within the town itself. Ross Finlayson (talk) 01:56, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Change policy, as set out by @Giantflightlessbirds, and so change spelling of Paekākāriki article. Elguaponz (talk) 02:02, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
That's a highly misleading post. The article is currently named Paekakariki, without macrons! Akld guy (talk) 02:15, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
That's pretty clearly stated at the call for !votes; some of us I guess prefer to use the spelling with macrons when referring to the article. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 02:54, 28 May 2018 (UTC)

Question For those advocating a policy change - is that WP:COMMONNAME or WP:NAMECHANGES or Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand). The discussion is unclear. NealeFamily (talk) 02:41, 28 May 2018 (UTC)]

Answer This debate from the beginning has been about changing the policy Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand). Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 02:50, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
That is a WikiProject guideline and not a policy.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 02:59, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
The main reason this discussion is going round in circles and why even this vote is becoming derailed, is because we are all talking about slightly different things. We should start afresh in the correct place to create a new consensus on how to deal with NZ place names (or how to deal with macrons - another example of slightly different things). That must be strictly based on WP policy. Sorry if this sounds like trying to rehash everything again, but unless we create very clear parameters we will just keep regurgitating the same old stuff and get nowhere.Roger 8 Roger (talk) 03:15, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
Right, for a few days I've been pointing out that projects cannot change policy. Semantics here have been off. All naming conventions in Wikipedia are guidelines as coded in Wikipedia:List of policies and guidelines#Terminology. In order to change that guideline, post at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (New Zealand) and then create an RfC once you have the correct wording and also consider using a centralized discussion template for a broader audience. Since that naming convention is a Wikipedia Project-wide guideline, it must/should involve the whole community by way of opportunity to discuss. This will form a stronger, more binding consensus than just the local consensus that WikiProject NZ might form. I suggest using this thread to get the wording fleshed out. A poorly-worded RfC can derail very quickly.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 03:57, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
My apologies for using the word "policy" when I meant "guideline", although the actual wording at issue has been very clear from the very beginning of this debate. Of course any proposals for changing a guideline need to happen at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (New Zealand). Thanks for the suggestions for how to proceed. Since for weeks now I've been asking for a simple vote on whether the guidelines for New Zealand place names should be brought into line with the guidelines for all other New Zealand names, drafting some better wording would be a good step. —05:50, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
Use macrons whenever appropriate. My thoughts: let's wholeheartedly support the positive discrimination position that is already advocated by many governmental and regional authorities regarding the use of marcons in the spelling of NZ words of Māori origin. Let's respect Māori by letting them define the words we've borrowed from their language. It's no trouble here on Wikipedia to have an unmacronned redirect. Tayste (edits) 11:36, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
While the sentiment here is admirable and understandable, this violates WP:NPOV, which is one of Wikipedia's core principles. (See also WP:RGW.) Wikipedia should not be used to advance an agenda. Ross Finlayson (talk) 12:35, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
It's also important to recognize that Wikipedia, being an international encyclopedia, has no obligations to follow the same policies as New Zealand governmental or regional authorities. There, is, however, a New Zealand-based encyclopedia - "Te Ara", - that does seem to take the position that you've stated. (In fact, it's precisely Te Ara's "macrons always" policy that makes it not a good source to use when trying to figure out how a Maori-origin word is commonly spelled in English.) Ross Finlayson (talk) 16:29, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
Good points, thank you. Tayste (edits) 00:56, 29 May 2018 (UTC)
  • No Macron - Based on appearances in google searches (in google books results), no macron would be the common name: 307 results for Paekākāriki, and 12,500 for Paekakariki. On Official Maps it also has no macrons. In any case: WP:COMMONNAME trumps Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand) anyway and WP:LOCALCONSENSUS applies to this discussion trying to enforce either 'macrons' or 'no macrons' on all NZ place names. Use Macrons where it is the common name, don't use them where it isn't (yes this requires a discussion on each page). General rule will be whatever it was before is the status quo, and you have to discuss to get it changed. You could start a Requested move for a bunch of articles though, and publicise it here, but make sure that they are all equally valid for a change, per WP:COMMONNAME or else the RM will likely fail. Sorry my answer isn't more satisfying. The editors over at Requested Moves will not accept a local consensus here as being binding for all NZ place names unless it is based around macrons/no macrons being common practice one way or the other in NEARLY ALL cases (which as far as I can see is not ubiquitous everywhere). — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 07:52, 29 May 2018 (UTC)
    Seems fair, although note that in Google Books searches, there are 756,000 results for Wanganui, and only 41,000 for Whanganui; but Whanganui is now unquestionably the name of the town (and the article). As I argued back on May 6th, a 160-year historical backlog will give us the wrong answer for decades to come. We can't use Google searches or Nngrams to determine WP:COMMONNAME. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 09:53, 29 May 2018 (UTC)
    "but Whanganui is now unquestionably the name of the town". Haha, I bet you'll find that *lots* of people in the town still disagree on this (not to mention LINZ, which lists both spellings as "official"). (But at least everyone agrees on using the English alphabet :-) Ross Finlayson (talk) 13:24, 29 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment this discussion is rather difficult to engage with as there is such a plethora of policies and guidelines being quoted/misquoted/interpreted/misinterpreted. However, my position is that Maori placenames should always be listed in WP with the appropriate macrons. Statements such as "how is a Maori-origin word commonly spelled in English" are illogical to me as Maori-origin words cannot be spelled in English. It's like saying "how is Aotearoa spelled in English?" - there is no answer to this as "Aotearoa" is a Maori word and thus does not have an English-language counterpart or an English spelling. The evidence provided above which canvasses internet usage of placenames with and without macrons is also illogical and inadmissable as it is drawing on many years of inaccurate usage. I know that editors say that WP isn't the place to right wrongs but if something is known to be wrong i.e. wrong spelling of a placename, why would WP perpetuate an error? I say use macrons. MurielMary (talk) 08:08, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
    I'm sorry that you have difficulty understanding the concept of "how Maori-origin words are spelled in English" - because if you want to be able to meaningfully take part in this discussion, it's a concept that you're going to have to comprehend. That's because we're talking here about policies for the *English-language Wikipedia* (""), not the Maori-language Wikipedia (that's ""), nor a 'mixed-language' Wikipedia (because there's no such thing). We really are discussing here how these place names are spelled *in English*. There's a long history of place names with an origin in one language being spelled differently in another. A classic example is the Canadian city of Montreal, whose name comes from the French language (where it's spelled "Montréal"). Comparable to New Zealand, Canada has two official languages, and is *very* sensitive about the status and importance of the French language there. But in English the city is almost always spelled "Montreal"; that's not considered disrespectful or 'incorrect' - just a different spelling in a different language - and the English-language Wikipedia page for Montreal reflects this. Ross Finlayson (talk) 08:47, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
My, my Ross that's rather a snarky (not to mention condescending) tone for a Thursday evening! "If you want to be able to take part in this discussion"?? Um I already am and already have taken part in this discussion, no need to set up a barrier that prevents people from discussing issues here or suggest I have to do something in order to qualify to engage. We are not discussing how Maori placenames are spelt in English (although if we are, please answer my question above, "how is "Aotearoa" spelt in English?"). We are discussing how Maori placenames should be represented in an English-language text (i.e. WP articles). And I say Maori placenames should be represented in an English-language text as they exist in Te Reo Maori i.e. with macrons. In addition, Aotearoa is not comparable to Canada and it's pointless to try to compare the two soci-political-linguistic contexts as they are extremely different. MurielMary (talk) 09:07, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
Note that I said "if you want to be able to meaningfully take part in this discussion" :-) Anyway, you asked: 'How is (the Maori-language name) "Aotearoa" spelt in English?' That's easy: "Aotearoa". 'How is (the Maori-language name) "Paekākāriki" spelt in English?' That's less clear - especially since we're talking about how the word (in this case, a place name) should be spelt in the English-language Wikipedia (which has its own special guidelines, not necessarily applicable to English text in general, nor English text in New Zealand media). Some people (such as you) argue that the (current) Maori-language spelling should always be used. Other people (such as I) argue that if there's a different spelling that clearly dominates in English usage (i.e., WP:COMMONNAME), then that should take priority - especially for names of towns (which, unlike names of iwi (for example), do not describe things that are specifically Maori). Ross Finlayson (talk) 09:36, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
MurielMary, is Amsterdam an English word or a Dutch word? Is Rome an English word or a misspelt Italian word? Roger 8 Roger (talk) 09:28, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
Ross Finlayson, know that there are others who are following the debate that support the position you outline. I would also cite the Wikipedia Neutral POV on Naming statement as support, especially the beginning "In some cases, the choice of name used for a topic can give an appearance of bias. While neutral terms are generally preferable, this must be balanced against clarity. If a name is widely used in reliable sources (particularly those written in English), and is therefore likely to be well recognized by readers, it may be used even though some may regard it as biased.". For me, NZ editors need to recognise that the English Wikipedia is used by users across the world to find out about New Zealand and many of these users have English as a second language. To help users from overseas find New Zealand articles, the article names need to have the same clarity and consistency as the rest of the English Wikipedia hence my support for Ross's position.
I would also remind commentators that the Wikipedia Five Pillars includes the statement "Editors' personal experiences, interpretations, or opinions do not belong." Bigglesjames (talk) 22:03, 1 June 2018 (UTC)
@MurielMary: Speaking of Aotearoa, you may be interested in the discussion on that article about pronunciation, which hinges on the same theory (namely, that "Aotearoa" is a loan word when used by speakers of "the local standard", "General White New Zealand English" (!). — Hugh (talk) 21:47, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

If this page isn't the right place to discuss changes to the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (New Zealand) - which after all was the original question I posed where is the right place ? Utunga (talk) 03:45, 3 June 2018 (UTC)

Look up a few entries and follow what Berean Hunter recommends. I think your suggestion of moving forward to create consensus is good. If I can be slightly pessimistic (realistic?), if we are not careful we will end up creating another long discussion. Another good reason to start again elsewhere is that this discussion has become intolerably long. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 04:31, 3 June 2018 (UTC)

Seemed like a good idea to try for consensus, but it seems a long way off. If we're still aiming for it, should there be a moratorium on removing macrons from existing articles (eg Putāruru)? So far no one has suggested 'aa' in place of 'ā'. It's a solution being used by Waikato District Council. It has the merit of being clearer to the many readers not familiar with macrons and those who've not adapted their keyboards to use macrons. Johnragla (talk) 19:13, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

When creating a new article using an iPad or smartphone, it's impossible to do macrons when entering the title. Another good reason to never use them in article titles. No objection from me to using them in the body of the text as an aid to pronunciation. That's all they are, let's not kid ourselves that they're a new form of spelling. The National Party government of 2008-17 had the Maori Party as a support partner, and probably did deals, which is where this government- and council- sponsored "new spelling" notion probably came from. Akld guy (talk) 22:42, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
Impossible? I doubt that; I'm sure there's a way. And even if it were, that's not a good argument for not using diacritics in titles. WP:TSC suggests the use of diacritics if that's the most appropriate page title, with a redirect from more easily searched title variations. Tayste (edits) 23:03, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
Macrons are easier to type on a smartphone or iPad than on a computer; press and hold the key until a list of diacritics appear, then pick the macron version. I just tested article creation on my phone and couldn't find anything that stopped me using a macron. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 09:18, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Just tried that with the 'a' key on my iPad. A list of 8 macronised 'a's appears but when I type any of them only the basic 'a' appears. Akld guy (talk) 10:11, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Testing typing with macrons on my iPhone: Māori. Pākehā. Ōtaki. — Hugh (talk) 20:33, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Well, that worked as expected. Bloody difficult to wade through all this text on a phone though. — Hugh (talk) 20:34, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

No consensus, so far

Looks like there is no consensus at this time. Clearly I'm dissapointed but it is what it is. I've updated Naming_Conventions_(New_Zealand)#Place_names to reflect this, for now. Utunga (talk) 07:21, 18 June 2018 (UTC)


That's interesting because I would read it as a clear consensus for no change. Eddaido (talk) 08:16, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
Yes, the consensus is no change. If this debate is to go anywhere further, it must start again and first be very clearly defined, otherwise we will once again go round in circles. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 12:01, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
I hope that if started elsewhere, all of those who have commented here will be pinged and invited to comment. Not just the ones who expressed a particular preference. Akld guy (talk) 19:36, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
How can you say there is a clear consensus when there are a number of people saying different things and not agreeing with each other? In what world is that 'consensus'. We cannot even agree that there is no consensus? More valid would be to say that because there is no consensus there should be no change. That said there isn't really a guideline or a rule or a whatever you call it there anyway as it just said "Rules of Māori place names are still under discussion, but at present..." which to my mind implies that there is not only no consensus on this now there wasn't back then. Utunga (talk) 20:39, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
This is exactly what I mean - there is no clearly defined topic of debate. I suggest that before any debate is restarted we must decide on what we want. By the way, as far as I am concerned, the onus is on those wanting change to prove their case. There is no obligation on those wanting to leave things as they are to do anything except say'no change'. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 21:10, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
Again, its No Change from me. Bigglesjames (talk) 20:41, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

A little extra[edit]

I just found this discussion via The Signpost, so adding a subsection for newcomers with additional perspectives.

My initial instinct was "remove exception for place names in Guideline, it doesn't hurt to use macrons in article titles". But there are some excellent points made by both sides above, and now I'm on the fence. However, I'd like to draw a parallel that points in the opposite direction to my first feeling.

Consider terms from other languages that are normally written in non-roman scripts. To create a reversible transcription from Arabic or Indic scripts requires diacritics to distinguish sounds that we don't have in English, like retroflex-t versus "normal"-t. And it doesn't help most readers to mentally pronounce a word when the Arabic letter sheen / šīn is transcribed as 'š' or 's' rather than 'sh'. Thankfully Māori doesn't have such shenanigans: it's written in latin script and the consonants seem to have well-accepted mapping to letters that sound the same (or close enough?) in English.

But Arabic language does have one thing in common with Maori: it distinguishes long and short vowels. There are three different methods to indicate this in roman type: different letters (u/o and e/i), letter doubling (a vs. aa), or diacritics (a vs. ā or á). At least with Māori there seems to be a clear preference for the macron and we don't have to deal with alternate spellings like *Maaori.

There was some discussion a while ago about where to use "simplified" Arabic transcription (no diacritics and no distinction between 'alif and 'ayn) versus "strict" transcription which maps to the spelling in Arabic script. (I'll see if I can find a link to that discussion later.) One of the big considerations was that a page full of heavily-accented terms was hard on the eye. So it was decided to provide the strict transliteration on first use, then use the simplified but less accurate spelling in subsequent body text.

Tellingly, the simplified, no-diacritics version is also used for page titles that are Arabic words.

Now, the guideline might have changed since then, and recommendations on WP seem to be honored more in the breach than the observance (curly quotes, anyone?). Plus, people (because of personal or media preference for a certain spelling variant) and places (because of a common non-accented spelling already in English) aren't generally affected. But still, that is one instance where the community chose to minimize the use of diacritics.

Yours from across the pond, Pelagic (talk) 07:33, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
[Admission: I'm a monoglot, I don't speak Arabic or Maori, just have an interest in typography and writing systems.]

I note that Maori was recorded and written by a Cambridge professor of Arabic, Samuel Lee. Unfortunately Australians had no equivalent. Eddaido (talk) 07:58, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Wow, an interesting correspondence, Eddaido. The numerous native Australian languages would have been to much for any one linguist, and sadly the window of opportunity has closed in many cases. I imagine there is a lot of work that could still be done here, though. Pelagic (talk) 13:37, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for your construictive post. I wonder though if your arguments address my concern fully. At some point a foreign word used in English becomes so commonly used that it effectively becomes an English word. At that point all the rules about how the word is written or pronounced in that foreign language become irrelevant. For example, how is Tel Aviv written and pronounced in English? Simple - just as you or I spell or speak it. Or Cologne? Answer - Cologne. The debate here is about whether our place names are written or spoken in the Maori language, or in English (through years of using them as English words). With there being a huge effort in the last 30 or so years to promote all things Maori, including making it an official language, the debate and distinction has been heavily confused with the insertion of legislation, political correctness and lobby group involvement. I do not want that to sound dismissive of what has been happening in NZ societ, but I think it is correct, and does not appear to be addressed by your contribution. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 09:07, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
Thankyou for the feedback, Roger. In an attempt to add something fresh, I was specifically avoiding those concerns, which have already been discussed at great length above. I just wanted to relate a case where we were dealing with clearly foreign terms – there wasn't any question of whether they are Anglicized – and the choice was still to avoid diacritics on repeated use. I'm not saying that we must do the same for Maori, as the macrons aren't nearly as hard on the eye as heavily-pointed Arabic or Sanscrit.
But come to think of it, for Maori terms in general, not just place-names: if the diacritics are used, then shouldn't the term be italicised as foreign? As a comparison, we would (should?) set "Cologne" in roman/upright type and "Köln" in italic/oblique type. Okay, that's a place, but think also of loan words like "rôle" and "métier", against "role" and "metier". Or "Christchurch" versus "Ōtautahi": keep the diacritics, but also use italics!
I note Utunga's point that the current guideline would have us write "Otautahi" without the macron, as there is no specific provision for places with official dual names. That, at least, should be rectified.
Aloha and kokua have entered common English use in Hawaii (at least in tourist areas) and are often printed there without italics (or so it seemed to me on a very brief visit), but elsewhere in the world they would be italicised. For New Zealand to recognise te reo Māori as a second official language is admirable, but the language doesn't have the same special status in other countries. Sorry to digress from the main topic; this has probably been hashed out before elsewhere.
Pelagic (talk) 13:37, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
@Pelagic, it is useful to get an outside opinion about this subject: local debate has a habit of being insular and missing the wider picture. Any further comments you might want to make would be welcome. Reading your latest post above, it does seem that we might be thinking along the same lines about Maori terms used in English. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 07:39, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Italics for Maori words[edit]

[this is still in reply to Pelagic above: sub-heading was inserted later as noted below Pelagic (talk) 06:50, 18 July 2018 (UTC)]
It's important to note that the convention in New Zealand English is to not italicise commonly-used Māori loanwords. And increasingly, as you can see below, the use of macrons for those NZ English words is standard in media, universities, government, law etc (I'm compiling a list of official style guides that all recommend macrons); it's a misrepresentation to say this widespread, rapid, and recent usage change is just "political correctness and lobby group involvement". Wikipedia pages on NZ subjects should be explicitly noted as being in NZ English as per MOS:TIES, and they'll follow NZ conventions, including no italics. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 01:31, 14 July 2018 (UTCDo you hve anything to confirm that statement about italics?
Do you have anything to confirm that statement alleging a convention about italics? Perhaps the words are not put in italics because they are English words, not Maori loan words? The use of macrons by govt bodies, and certain others, is because the law tells them to do it (promote all things Maori). It is the NZ version of positive discrimination. I referred to this somewhere above. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 09:53, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
I think you're mistaken. First, a loanword like "Māori" IS an English word, in this case NZ English, by definition – that's what loanword means. Please read the actual definition. Café is a French loanword, iwi is a Māori loanword. As such, it's not italicised, because it's an English word, not a foreign term. You can confirm this by opening any NZ magazine, newspaper, book, and pamphlet for the last 150 years. Other common loanwords that aren't italicised in current NZ English are mahi, kaupapa, marae, kiwi… I could go on. A simple Google search will find all the evidence you need. Second, I'm pretty sure the law does not tell governmental bodies to use macrons: please find me the legislation that specifically states that. And it certainly hasn't told the NZ Herald and North and South magazine to do it. The use of macrons on Māori loanwords in NZ English is a recent, widespread societal change in usage, and even if it were some sort of massive "positive discrimination" campaign organised somehow by persons unknown, so what? It's a change in common usage and should be reflected in Wikipedia. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 21:49, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Thank you, I do know what a loanword is. (Use of italics has no grammatical rule regarding foreign words - it is simply a handy technique for clarity) Loan words usually become anglicised over time. At that point they cease to be loanwords. If that were not the case half of English would be made up of foreign loan words. At that point the English language rules take over, not the foreign language rules. The place we drink coffee in is today an English word (with a foreign origin, like thousands of other words). As such it does not need an accent. If an accent is used, as it sometimes is, it is for another reason, such as trying to promote a business, similar to painting the French tricolour on the entrance door. Two hundred years ago the word is likely still to have been a loanword and so an accent would have been used, and the lack of an accent could have been called 'incorrect'. The issue here is whether all these Maori words have become anglicised (in which case the addition of macrons means we are swapping an English word for a foreign loanword). The word would still be an English word but its type would have been artificially changed - from an word a 100% anglicised word of foreign origin to a foreign loan word. The law says , as I paraphrased, that govt bodies need to promote Maori things. Using macrons is one way to do this. I dealt with this further back and haven't got time now to dig it up again. In fact, NZ Geographic Names has specifically said (again I summarise) that macrons are not obligatory - meaning the English language spelling has not changed. What the Herald does is up to it and is determined by business rationale, nothing else. Finally, once again, my point is that all these so-called Maori loan words are not needed because English has words of its own that mean exactly the same. Why write Māori (loan word) when Maori (anglicised word) will do, unless there is an anterior motive? Your reference to common usage is one of merit, but for me is a topic for another post. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 22:47, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
I would just note that "café" and "naïve" are two of the very few words that have kept their diacritics long after becoming naturalized into English. This is because normal English phonology would see "cafe" pronounced as /keif/ and "naive" pronounced /naiv/ like "knive". Even those two are often seen without diacritics these days, but in publications with quality typography I think it would still be more common to keep them. Pelagic (talk) 10:36, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
That's not exactly correct. They have not kept their diacritics in published works. café vs. cafe, naïve vs. naive. The entries from what I can see of The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary do not contain diacritics: cafe, naive and Maori. I would imagine that they may comment within that entry about the use of diacritics as being optional...maybe someone with access or a hard copy could expound on that.
As an observation, there seems to be a slight trend from 2000-2008 towards the use of diacritics with those spellings, Cafe, Naive but not using macrons with Maori. 2008 is the latest year for which results are currently available.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 13:17, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Hi, all! I've taken the liberty of inserting a subhead for the discussion of italics and have refactored the indentation. I hope nobody minds. Outdenting my own reply here as it mostly addresses Giantflightlessbirds top post (though does mention some of the others).
My initial thoughts were to follow the direction New Zealand is heading in: macrons and no italics. But as I read the lengthy arguments above and formulated my own responses, I found my position changing.
The talk of "use NZ English because ties" is important enough that I will split off another subhead below to address that separately.
But here's another thought about italics and language tagging. NZ law may say "that govt bodies need to promote Maori things". But doesn't it do more honour to te reo Māori (the Maori language) to mark it as such, rather than agglomerating it into a New-Zealand-English admixture? [Before anybody objects, I know that youse know what "te reo Māori" means, I was just making an example of how I would gloss it on first occurrence if I were writing in a more international part of the wiki.]
Visually, we mark a phrase as foreign with italics per MOS:FOREIGNITALIC.
Note that I'm definitely not advocating for italic article titles. It bad enough that we have to resort to magic words for literary works, etc. Let's not impose that on every Maori, Arabic, or whatever-language article title.
Somebody (maybe Utunga) pointed out far above that diacritics help with things like text-to-speech. What helps even more with TTS and machine recognition is tagging relevant parts with <span xml:lang="mi">, say by using {{lang|mi|...}} or {{lang-mi}}. That is the other half of 'marking' the word or phrase, and is also recommended by the Manual of Style.
Admittedly, there is also an aesthetic factor to consider. Oblique or italic is one of the least intrusive typographic niceties, but a page of text heavily peppered with it can still look unattractive. For often-repeated terms do we have an option to dial back on this? With those words that are common enough in English, we can drop the italics and the macrons after first mention in a section. If it's frequent enough for the italics to be distracting, then the macrons will also be distracting. Unfortunately that approach brings us back to arguing about which words are sufficiently naturalized for that treatment and which ones are truly foreign.
As GFB points out, this isn't necessarily about righting great wrongs by either promoting Maori terms and orthography, or by pushing back against Political Correctness, though these do seem to be big considerations for some. So maybe my use of the phrase "do ... honour to ... Maori" will raise some hackles, but that's not the sense I intended. More that we show respect for our readers and subject matter in the care with which we present the material. Which is why everybody is here arguing over the "best" way to do that.
Cheers - Pelagic (talk) 10:36, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, I really can't follow the reasoning behind the argument that an article written in NZ English should not follow the conventions of NZ English. Articles in other versions of English are free to do what they like by tagging Māori as a foreign language. Māori words in common use in New Zealand English are never italicised. "Doing honour to Maori [sic]" by treating common NZ words like a foreign language based on their Māori origin is actually going to offend quite a few New Zealanders. For an example of NZ English usage, see this article from the Listener, NZ's highest-circulation current affairs magazine. Note use of macrons – now standard with most media – and no italics. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 00:14, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
I have tried to weed out the clutter and work out what is the nub of this disagreement. The best I can do is that there are two sides: one, those that think Maori words in NZ English are loan words, and are therefore being mis-spelt without macrons; and two, those that think Maori words have been absorbed as anglicised NZ English words, and are therefore spelt correctly without macrons. If true, this approach is useful because, among other things, it renders the media use of macrons irrelevant, with one important exception. If macrons are consistently used, correctly of not, they will be the usual spelling in reliable sources, thus making macron use correct. In my view, the weight of evidence points to the fact that words such as Maori and Kaikoura are NZ English anglised words, not Maori loan words, rendering the use of macrons incorrect. Others disagree of course. If hthese two views are indeed that exact points of difference, we can hopefully continue this discussion with a clearer focus, something that has been sorely lacking so far. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 10:36, 20 July 2018 (UTC)

Media outlets using macrons[edit]

Interesting to note that in the last few weeks, the weather on oneNews on TVNZ has started using macrons in their spellings of placenames including Whakatāne, Whangārei, Taupō and Kaikōura, and the New Zealand Herald is also using macrons routinely in placenames such as Taupō [4], Whangārei [5], Paekākāriki and Kāpiti [6]Paora (talk) 10:02, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

PS. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think all the outlets are using macrons for all words of Māori origin, including where they have been adopted as English words. Nurg (talk) 12:10, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
I don't think it's reached Dunedin - NealeFamily (talk) 01:01, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
The ODT does use macrons sometimes, e.g. [7]. Paora (talk) 01:38, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
Just looking at the article dates - maybe they have changed their editorial policy NealeFamily (talk) 09:33, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

More on macrons in Māori placenames[edit]

An IP from the University of Waikato has gone through Tirau and Tokoroa adding macrons to most of the Māori placenames. As none of these have a macron in their English wiki articles there seems no justification for this I have reverted them. Apart from anything else AFAIK it is standard practise to link to a wiki article as per its title, and if in this case if it does not have macrons then the link should be to the standard English name. DerbyCountyinNZ (Talk Contribs) 00:48, 14 July 2018 (UTC)

Is Peter Thiel a New Zealander?[edit]

Hello, there's a discussion on Talk:Peter Thiel regarding whether his citizenship causes him to fit the requirements of categories such as Category:New Zealand people. Your input is welcome. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 02:46, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

New Zealand Wikipedian-at-Large[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation approved my project grant, so from July 2018–June 2019 I'll be New Zealand's first Wikipedian at Large. Thank you to everyone who left endorsements or volunteered to help! I think that was instrumental in getting full financial support for the year. I've blogged about the project here.

It looks like over winter I'll be based in Auckland with a short stint in Dunedin, and over summer 2018–19 in Wellington, after that heading to the South Island. I'll be organising meetups and Wikipedia events associated with each residency, and will be calling on local Wikipedians to take part and help out new editors – there will be social events, Wikipedia training, and edit-a-thons. I'll also be working with host institutions to provide some freebies for local Wikipedians, such as behind-the-scenes tours, to say thank you for helping out.

Looking forward to meeting as many of you as I can as I travel around New Zealand over the next year! — Mike Dickison / Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 03:50, 21 May 2018 (UTC)

Wonderful!-gadfium 04:05, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
Saw your note on Twitter earlier today. Awesome. Looking forward to catching up when you are in Christchurch. Schwede66 05:32, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
Terrific! I'll be interested to hear more in due course about an activity that you listed under Auckland Museum: "Organising a panel and discussion with Māori and Wikipedians on the future of Māori-language Wikipedia, and the Māori content on English-language Wikipedia." Nurg (talk) 23:26, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
Mike just made a quick presentation about his plans at (first presenter). WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:39, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

Northcote by-election[edit]

At 8:30 pm, Stuff was claiming that the votes wouldn't be counted till 10:00 pm. Meanwhile, the Herald said that with 75 percent of the votes counted, the other candidate had conceded. That's not an official result, but for some editors a newspaper claim is sufficient and they stampede to be the first to update articles with the news. I'm reminded of the US election of 1948, when one newspaper declared a candidate the winner and had to publish a correction the next day. Akld guy (talk) 09:13, 9 June 2018 (UTC)

Back at the 2017 general election, some editors declared safe seat results before the votes had been fully counted. However, that was slightly different in that it was clear that the opponents had a snowball's chance in hell of actually winning - 75 percent counted in a near-bellwether is probably a bit too early IMHO. Lcmortensen (mailbox) 10:56, 23 June 2018 (UTC)

John Key article[edit]

John Key, an article that you or your project may be interested in, has been nominated for a community good article reassessment. If you are interested in the discussion, please participate by adding your comments to the reassessment page. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, the good article status may be removed from the article. --Hazhk (talk) 12:01, 21 June 2018 (UTC)

New Zealand wine[edit]

Hi folks, I've been beavering away on and off for the last few months trying to improve New Zealand wine articles, in particular the main New Zealand wine article. Right now I'm trying to unravel the issues surrounding the various articles about Pernod Ricard-owned wineries, and even about Pernod Ricard itself, which bought Allied Domecq NZ to become Pernod Ricard NZ, but merged with Pernod Ricard Pacific (Australia), formerly Premium Wine Brands, to form Pernod Ricard Winemakers, which had earlier bought Montana Wines, now rebranded to Brancott Estate, except the domestic wines you see in NZ supermarkets (ostensibly because of domestic brand recognition, yet ironically some of them aren't even made from New Zealand grapes), which had in turn at some point bought Corbans Wines, but then sold it again to Lion (formerly Lion Nathan, and who also now make "Corbans" labelled wine with grapes from Australia and Chile), along with Lindauer, yet the Corbans Wines article still redirects to Pernod Ricard NZ when they were merged ten years ago. As you can see, it's complicated, and the articles are often very out of date and/or incorrect as a result. Any assistance would be appreciated... right now, please feel free to comment on the "Rework" section on Pernod Ricard NZ. Jon (talk) 09:11, 23 June 2018 (UTC)

Just as a heads-up, there was some discussion at the last Wellington meetup of running a NZ wine editathon this summer at a winery in the Wairarapa. I'm sure many Wellington Wikipedians would be tempted to come out for the day! I'll post more to this noticeboard as the planning comes together. Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 20:31, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
A meet up, you say; how do I get in on that? Being a Wellingtonian, and all... Jon (talk) 04:18, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
It'll be announced here, or you can join the Wikipedia New Zealand Facebook group or sign up to the mailing list, or keep an eye on WP:NZWPAL. All welcome! —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 11:29, 24 June 2018 (UTC)

Red Feds[edit]

Hey everyone, does anyone have access to Erik Olssen's The Red Feds: Revolutionary Industrial Unionism and the New Zealand Federation of Labour, 1908-14? I'm working on the article on syndicalism and I was hoping someone could look something up for me. Thanks,--Carabinieri (talk) 21:32, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

Yes, some people have access to a copy. What do you want to be looked up? Nurg (talk) 23:15, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm interested in the following: My understanding is that the New Zealand Federation of Labour was formed in 1909 and was influenced by the American IWW. I'd just like to get a little more background on the founding and the IWW's influence. I'd also be interested in the Federation's relation to syndicalism in the European sense, if Olssen discusses this at all. If there is any kind of pertinent information on this, I'd like to add it to the article on syndicalism.--Carabinieri (talk) 00:57, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
I have looked at the index and there are many, many pages that mention the IWW. There are no index entries for anything stating with syndic- or anarch-. I note that Olssen also wrote the potted history at and says "The Red Feds, as they were known, were inspired by European syndicalists and American ‘Wobblies’ (Industrial Workers of the World)." So I guess the book probably discusses European syndicalists, but I don't know how to quickly find that info. Any names of people or organisation I could check the index for? I am happy to dip into it some more, but at this point I'm not offering to read the whole, or a substantial part, of the book! (I'm surprised to discover that there is extremely meagre coverage of the FOL in WP though.) Nurg (talk) 10:15, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for your help.--Carabinieri (talk) 03:21, 8 July 2018 (UTC)

Talk:Harmon Wilfred[edit]

The subject of this article about a "New Zealand-based businessman" is asking for assistance, if anyone is interested. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 08:48, 28 June 2018 (UTC)


Why the article David Willey (cricketer) is under WikiProject New Zealand but not under WikiProject England as this cricketer is from England? Bayernfan2003 (talk) 12:35, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

I've replied at Talk:David Willey (cricketer).-gadfium 22:08, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

Women's Suffrage 125[edit]

This year is the 125th anniversary of Women's suffrage in New Zealand. On 19 September 1893, NZ became the first country to grant women the right to vote. There are many events planned this year to [commemorate this]. The anniversary is listed on the Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries/September 19 page, but it hasn't made the list of the final five. What is needed to get it in the list for this year?

Is there anything else that should be done in Wikipedia for this anniversary? It appears that there is a Wikipedia article for each of the [125 extraordinary women] featured on the Our Wahine website. --Pakaraki (talk) 05:10, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

Kate Sheppard is currently a featured article candidate. If it passes, I intend to nominate it for the front page of Wikipedia on 19 Sept.-gadfium 06:07, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
Let me know what I can do to help. I'd love to organise some publicity for this, and perhaps an editing event to coincide with the "Are We There Yet" show currently on at Auckland Museum, which looks at the 125th anniversary. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 21:52, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

Auckland Wikipedian meetup[edit]

The Auckland Museum library.

I'm hosting a meetup for Auckland Wikipedians this coming Saturday:

  • Saturday 21 July
  • 1:00 pm until we decide to head downstairs for a coffee
  • Library, Auckland Museum (lvl 2, take the South Entrance atrium elevator and head through the Secret World of Butterflies exhibit).

Meetup page: Wikipedia:Meetup/Auckland 8. Please add your name if you can (or can't) come, and feel free to add items to the agenda.

Sorry this is short notice; I've only recently arrived in Auckland and wanted to meet locals. There will be several more meetups and editing events in the next couple of months, advertised here, on the Wikipedia New Zealand Facebook group, and on the mailing list for the NZ Wikipedian at Large project. —Giantflightlessbirds (talk) 22:49, 15 July 2018 (UTC)