Macrons still missing at Invercargill council

 Invercargill City Council has been questioned for the second time this month for failing to...
Invercargill City Council has been questioned for the second time this month for failing to include macrons in documents. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The omission of macrons from Invercargill City Council documents has been questioned for a second time in as many weeks.
On Tuesday, mana whenua representative Pania Coote noted macrons had been left off documents related to the council’s upcoming long term plan consultation.

“I would just suggest to add macrons to the kupu Māori words, in the document,” Coote said, during discussion.

Panie Coote
Panie Coote
In response, council strategy, policy and engagement manager Rhiannon Suter said the organisation had engaged the use of a contractor to assist the communications team for that task.

Councillor Grant Dermody then quipped the council would be getting some money back from the contractor.

In response to questions from Local Democracy Reporting, the council clarified the consultant was employed as a Te Reo Māori translator, but had not proofread documents.

Council group manager community engagement and corporate services Trudie Hurst said preparing the consultation document for the 2024 - 2034 long term plan was a "significant task" undertaken by a large number of people over a long period of time.

“While all efforts are made during the proofreading process, sometimes the occasional error slips through inadvertently,” Hurst said.

Council staff had since reviewed the document with the help of Coote, identifying two words which needed correcting, she said.

Although the digital version had been updated, the hard copies were in the process of being printed when the issue was raised and would go out without macrons.

On Wednesday, Coote told Local Democracy Reporting that adding macrons was easily overlooked.

“Some people don’t realise that without having a macron on, it changes the meaning of the word.”

This week’s mistakes followed a similar situation on February 13 when mana whenua representative Evelyn Cook questioned missing macrons in a council report.

Cook’s concerns were backed up by Deputy Mayor Tom Campbell who said the council “should be wise enough” to pick up on the problem.

Consultation on the council’s long term plan begins on February 29.

LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air