Can we get any nuttier in our capital city, with the proposal, to change the name of the internationally well-known cricket ground, the “Basin Reserve”, to, “Support Women’s Sport Basin Reserve?”
The promoters of this cultural and sporting vandalism are seeking $100,000 to change the name for just two years, as part of a naming rights deal. The Mayor Justin Lester supports it as does Councilor Fleur Fitzsimons, both of who are on the Basin Reserve Trust.
Fortunately there are some people with a sense of humour who are also raising money to change the name to, “Crickety McCricketface”. However Councilor Fitzsimons says “Crickety McCricketface” is unlikely to be approved. As trustees both Justin and Fleur should absent themselves from any decision about naming rights, because there may well be other bids, possibly from a yet to be formed “Basin Reserve” group, and they would be seen as prejudiced assessors.
How on earth would comedian John Oliver handle this?
Name changing lunacy is actually rather too prevalent in the capital. We had a Vice Chancellor, from Auckland, who tried to change the name of Victoria University of Wellington, but was blocked by Education Minister Chris Hipkins.
It would be great if the same Minister wearing his State Service hat, stopped the Government from changing the names of government departments. In my working life time we have had the Department of Agriculture become: the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Still MAF) , the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, become the Ministry of Primary Industries, as ministries were created, merged and demerged.
There was the Department of Industries and Commerce become Trade and Industry, then the Ministry of Commerce, then the Ministry of Economic Development and finally this mouthful, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
Then there was the “Child, Youth and Family (CYF), (New Zealand) agency, which became the Ministry for Vulnerable Children and then renamed “Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Children,” all within a matter of months. Aside from the massive costs of these politically driven name changes, there is also the massive confusion they create in the public mind.
In sharp contract in the USA they basically keep names such as the USDA, their department of agriculture, which was founded in 1862, and their foreign affairs State Department, established in 1789.
Our Parliament recently changed the Education Act so any university wanting to change its name must first get a Parliamentary vote, a tough test.
I suggest an Act should be passed that prohibited state agencies names being changed unless there is a super majority in Parliament – say 60%. That would cut down on endless mergers and demergers and name changes as well. A big win for taxpayers!!