Yep, Tariana Turia is a lovely lady and moreover she is one of this nation’s special people.
But she can get her knickers in a twist over the silliest of things.
She has taken strong objection to the idea of the Wellington region having a lord mayor, for example, telling Morning Report (here) there must be a better title.
“We are in Aotearoa New Zealand and this whole concept of having a Lord Mayor I think is a bit bizarre.”
Her objection needs much more explaining for Alf to be convinced.
The good citizens of Brisbane – at least, some of them are good – could say they live in Queensland and the whole concept of having a Lord Mayor is a bit bizarre.
They are blessed with a Lord Mayor, anyway.
He is a bloke called Graham Quirk (as you will find here).
Graham Quirk became Lord Mayor of Brisbane in April 2011.
Graham grew up in Doomben, on Brisbane’s northside where he attended the Sisters of Mercy-run St Cecilia’s school and worked part time in the local area as a young man. His working life started in the stables in Hendra then progressed on to jobs in banking and clerical sectors. Graham retains a keen interest in thoroughbred horses and the racing industry.
And so on.
But Tariana went on to raise another daft objection.
“In fact I couldn’t help but wonder how Christian groups would view that, given that there is but one Lord.”
Say that again…
Let’s introduce Tariana (here) to Lord Strathclyde, who (Alf imagines) is not the one lord she had in mind.
He is Leader of the House of Lords, and so has charge of a small army of lords.
The current Leader of the House of Lords is Lord Strathclyde. As with all past Leaders, he was appointed to the position by the Prime Minister.
And how many other lords are there in the House of Lords?
We get the answer here.
Currently, there are about 760 members who are eligible to take part in the work of the House of Lords. The majority are life peers.
Alf’s concern is that Tariana wishes to impose a Maori title upon us, so we finish up with a Chief of Wellington.
Or a Rangatira (see here) of Wellington, maybe.
Rangatira ([rɑːŋɑːʈiːrɑː]) are the hereditary Māori leaders of hapū, and were described by ethnologists such as Elsdon Best as chieftains (p. 88). Ideally, rangatira were people of great practical wisdom who held authority on behalf of the tribe and maintained boundaries between a tribe’s land and that of other tribes.
Mind you, maybe Tariana is thinking of a “Maori chief”.
In that case, as you will see here, she is all at sea, because –
The Maori chief, Notothenia angustata, is a cod icefish in the genus Notothenia found in the southern ocean between New Zealand and Chile south to the Antarctic, at depths down to 100 m in rocky reef areas. Its length is between 30 and 65 cm.
So what sort of fish is this Maori chief?
A very special one, obviously.
The Maori chief is a large bottom-living fish not too dissimilar to the Maori cod. It has a large mouth…
And so on.
But there’s no great advantage in having a large bottom-living civic leader with a large mouth, although the citizens of Invercargill don’t seem too unhappy.
Alf is in the Lord Mayor camp.
Come to think of it, he might be tempted to have a crack at landing the job for himself.