What's in a Name?

November 22, 2009

David V. Williams

Aotearoa Sunday

Video available on YouTube, Facebook (Part 1) , Facebook (Part 2)    


Sermon Synopsis:


In David V. William’s sermon for Aotearoa day, he reflected on the names of our controversial MP for Te Tai Tokerau: Hone, a favourite New Testament Christian name [John]; Pani, an Old Testament name, one of King David's warrior heroes [Bani] - those OT warriors were rather admired by many Maori; Tamati Waka Nene [Thomas Walker Nene] - Nene was a Ngapuhi chief at the time of the Treaty, he was baptised by the Wesleyans at Pakaenae in 1839 and named after Thomas Walker, a CMS lay patron; and Harawira is a name taken taken by many Maori to honour Octavius Hadfield, CMS missionary to the Kapiti Coast and later Bishop of Wellington and Primate.


So Hone Pani Tamati Waka Nene Harawira is (in English) John Bani Thomas Walker Nene Hadfield. His point is that Maori know a lot about and have embraced a great deal of our Christian heritage, and that most Pakeha remain rather ignorant about most matters Maori, including Maori names! His hope for Aotearoa Sunday is that more Pakeha will engage with and embrace aspects of the indigenous culture of this land in a spirit of generosity and inclusiveness that reciprocates the historic and contemporary generosity and inclusiveness of Maori.


David V. Williams is a law professor, priest, expert on the Treaty of Waitangi and treaty settlement issues, as well as a Rhodes Scholar. After viewing his sermon you will understand his popularity with his students.

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