Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dispatches for day 7 and 8 - once more into the breach of Operation 8 Depositions hearing

After a week in Wellington and a whole different court case, I'm back in Auckland for the second stretch of the depositions hearing. Tomorrow morning the bus will come to take us to court, and we'll be back into the three ring circus which is the depositions hearing.

On the last day of the last session the judge said that he would continue sitting until it was over. I'm not sure if that was a promise or a threat

I know I skipped dispatches of the last few days of court. The suppression orders made it very hard to give an accurate impression of what's going on. I could tell quirky anecdotes, and keep pepole updated of various signs that have been put up around the place. But there comes a stage when telling those stories gives people the wrong impression of what's going on in court. While I suspect I will be telling some of the stories from court for the rest of my life, it's more than funny anecdotes. The challenge for me is to give an accurate impression of court, without saying anything that happened in the court room.

So it'll just be one story, to cover those last few days, even though there are some funny anecdotes.

As I've said before, the registrar in court room eight has atrocious Maori pronunciation. Even above and beyond your standard Maori mispronunciation - I don't think he's pronounced a single Maori word right over the entire period (and he does the read-backs so it's a lot of words). On the last day, someone suggested to him that he could learn Maori pronunciation. It would only take him a few hours with a speaker to learn some of the words and basic principles. He replied "Yes, I know I get things wrong. I don't come from New Zealand. I think the good thing is that it makes me neutral."

Neutral is mis-pronouncing Rawiri Iti's name, but not Aaron Pascoe's.

I don't know how many dispatches there will be in the next few weeks of court, but I'll do my best to give people an impression of what's going on.


  1. Anonymous8:50 pm

    I can't believe this is not deliberate. I can't remember with complete accuracy, but I think that after I'd been in the country a few weeks before I knew that Tame does not rhyme with same (okay, so I did once transcribe Kapiti as Cavity, but that was a special case).

    I work with people from a huge range of national/ethnic/cultural backgrounds and if they have an appointment I try to find out the pronunciation of their name, and if I can't then I ask them and get it right from thereon. I know that this is not the same, that failure/refusal to pronounce Maori words, particularly in this situation, has much more tied up with it than those of other languages and that I'm preaching to the converted but really I'm just aghast at something that would seem to me a routine and necessary part of the job.

    It's like me saying I could go to Iraq and look at things from a neutral standpoint with no preconcieved ideas.

    *sigh*. I still haven't came up with the appropriate phrase when people head off on trips like these but take care and thanks again for your dispatches.

  2. Consistent and knowing mispronunciation of words signals a refusal to learn the language, purely and simply.

    I'm often being told off by my sister for the depth of certain diphthongs, but at least I try to get it right!

  3. Where will Miss Klark be able to hide when the sordid secret comes out? Payback is sweet!!