Invercargill council criticised for omitting macrons

11:02 am on 16 February 2024
Invercargill city council mana whenua appointees Pania Coote (left) and Evelyn Cook with former mayor Tim Shadbolt. PHOTO: LUISA GIRAO

Evelyn Cook, right, with fellow mana whenua representative Pania Coote and former mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt. File pic Photo: ODT / Luisa Girao

Missing macrons in an Invercargill City Council report has led to a request from mana whenua to do better.

At an infrastructure committee meeting on Tuesday, mana whenua representative Evelyn Cook pointed out the errors during discussion on a paper about road closures for an upcoming event.

"Can we please do something about macrons that are missing in this report?" Cook asked.

"There should be one on the 'o' in Ōreti. There should be one on the 'o' in Waihōpai. If we need to do something about the spell check IT programme, can we please do it?

"Because it's actually annoying. It changes the meaning of the words."

In response, council group manager infrastructure services Erin Moogan said the organisation was in the process of aligning its reporting standards, and the issue could be highlighted as part of that.

Manager strategic asset planning Doug Rodgers said Cook's concerns would be noted.

"I think it's not a willingness problem. It's more a technical knowledge problem of how to put that in."

Deputy mayor Tom Campbell backed Cook, saying it was appropriate she kept raising the issue.

"We should be wise enough now that we pick up on it," he said.

Invercargill City Council approved the introduction of mana whenua representatives in July 2021 for the purpose of ensuring the voice of mana whenua and iwi was heard.

Invercargill City Council Building on Esk St, Invercargill.

Invercargill City Council's lack of macrons in a recent council report has caught the attention of a mana whenua representative who says they need to do better. Photo: ODT / Abbey Palmer

In October 2021, Cook (Waihōpai Rūnaka) and Pania Coote (Te Rūnanga o Awarua) were appointed to the positions.

Last year, Cook also expressed disappointment about being left out of a Local Government NZ conference in Christchurch.

She said the two mana whenua representatives had missed out in concurrent years, and she was willing to pay her own way to attend.

LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs