'Woke' new Scout style met with laughter

Boy scouts Getty
Stock photo: Getty
Scouts in Britain have been told to stop referring to New Zealand and Australia as "Down Under" as part of a wide-ranging series of rulings, prompting howls of laughter on the West Coast this morning.

Several British newspapers reported on the new Scout style guide, which now bans children from using the terms "falling on deaf ears", "man made", and also "maiden name" and "Christian name".

Children will also play "broken telephone" instead of the traditional "Chinese whispers" game. And children are told not to use "Down Under" to refer to Australia or New Zealand.

Between guffaws, West Coast Regional Council chairman Allan Birchfield said the "Down Under" edict was "hilarious".

He could not fathom that anyone would be offended by it.

Always a straight shooter, he said he reintroduced the opening prayer to the council table when he became chairman.

"We are a Christian country, and I'd like us to stay that way."

Greymouth Mayor Tania Gibson, also speaking through laughter, said she too was not offended by "Down Under".

"The whole 'offensive' thing is getting out of control," she said, citing recent controversy over whether the Hairy MacLary series of children's books had enough diverse characters.

"The world's gone a bit mad."

Also happy to live "Down Under" is Buller Mayor Jamie Cleine.

"It's more Australian than Kiwi," he said.

"It seems like everyone is a bit woke."

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