Child's name shortened by teachers

for being 'too hard' to pronounce

Five-year-old Mahinarangi Tautu just wants people to try to say her full name.

When Mahinarangi started daycare, her mother Paris was told her name had been shortened to "Rangi" because it was too hard to pronounce.

The Palmerston North and Ngāti Raukawa mum was determined this would not happen.

"My ancestors changed their original name from Perepe-Perana to Phillips because of colonisation," Tautu told the Herald on Sunday. "I will not let something similar happen with my daughter."

The mispronunciation and shortening of a name has a deeper effect than some may realise, as Rangi on its own translates to sky and Mahina means moon, so the name literally means "moon in the sky". Shortening the name also honours only one aspect or half of it, taking away its mana.

Even at school, Mahinarangi still gets her name mispronounced and peers laugh. She has often been too embarrassed to correct anyone.

Link to article: Child's name shortened by teachers for being 'too hard' to pronounce - NZ Herald


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