Friday, July 22, 2011

Thunder Lizard

Rev it up, rev it up, little boy…and riiiiiiiiiide!
Ahhhhhhh, Jerry Harrison, where are you now? No doubt left behind in a cloud of dust by Shelby Supercars’ latest model!
When the Californian company said its new hi-speed beastie would be called the Tuatara, some bros didn’t like it!
Shelby felt the name was a perfect choice for its 1350 horsepower car, which can top 430km/h and may be the fastest production car in the world. The company wanted a powerful exotic name, and insists the tuatara (though a slow walker) is speedy in its own way…y’see, a few years back, scientists discovered that tuatara have the fastest-evolving DNA of any animal.
[“Tuatara” means ‘peaks on the back’ in maori, and the car mimics that with the shape of its rear winglets. It's powered by a twin-turbocharged four-camshaft 7L V8 engine. Only 12 Tuataras will be made, priced from US$800k-900k. ]
Auckland Zoo says the publicity won’t do our ancient reptile’s reputation any harm: “The more people know about our amazing animals, the better.” That’s common sense – any publicity’s good publicity…ya think?
But oh no, not again…some maori in Nelson are concerned the choice of name could reduce the tuatara’s spiritual significance (!!!???), and believe protection of the word is needed. Ngati Koata Trust Board chairman George Elkington says he’s concerned something sacred (!!!!???) to both maori and other NZers (other NZers???) could be commonised: "This is something we as guardians need to protect. We don't want the word to be misused and mispronounced. I'm not aware of any protections in place, and we’ll certainly be looking at that." He says it’s not the first time common use of this animal has been raised, with many NZ companies using tuatara in their names, and maori need to look at how it’s used in a wider context (please explain to me WHY?).
For a start-off, the word tuatara is in the public domain, so no group has any intellictual property claim over it. Secondly, why do Nelson maori feel they have a mandate to protect it? Thirdly, some may believe a tuatara has god-given “spiritual significance”...but to the rest of us, it’s just a lizard.
*sigh* This smacks of Tariana Turia’s baby food tirade (June 2011) or the Taranaki tantrum over eating on top of a mountain (Jan.2011)!!
Get a grip.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

And don't forget theres the KiwiFM radio chain, the Kiwi Camping Company, Kiwi Bacon, Kiwi shoe polish, KiwiRail. For gods sake all our quirky cultural stuff is called kiwiana + we're ALL called kiwis TOO!
Jeez, the maoris will sure be raking in the bucks if they can start cashing in on WORDS!!

Writer Of The Purple Sage... said...

Well said.
And then of course there's KiwiBank!
Will Nelson maori want the entire coffers of that???!!! LOL

Anonymous said...

I drinbk Tuatara Pilsner Beer.