Rename the NZ Super Rugby teams

The current Super Rugby NZ team names are appalling:

Crusaders: A name celebrating religion based genocide from centuries ago (Thanks to @sportsfreakconz for that definition)

Chiefs: White people’s interpretation of a Māori culture across the region. Perhaps next time we could actually ask local iwi what name they would like to choose.

Hurricanes: We don’t even have hurricanes in the Southern Hemisphere. Lazy.


Highlanders: Celebrates Scottish colonists – not exactly friendly to the tangata whenua.

Blues: It’s like they ran out of time – and then copied the South Africans.

It’s well beyond time for these to be renamed, using an inclusive process that considers local iwi, the players along with marketability.

Published by Lance Wiggs


4 replies on “Rename the NZ Super Rugby teams”

  1. Hey how about naming them ‘Canterbury’, ‘Hamilton’, ‘Wellington’, ‘Auckland’ etc.
    Then everyone- even sporadic or non-followers will know who they all are


  2. The common translation of “he piko, he taniwha” is “at every bend, a chief”. That’s the interpretation used by tangata whenua, not only by pakeha. The proverb itself, which describes the many settlements and iwi along Waikato Awa, stretches back well before European settlement. So to say that the Chiefs is “white people’s interpretation of a Māori culture across the region” ignores that it’s also the Māori people’s (English) description of that same culture. Waikato has long been known as a region with many chiefs.

    I don’t deny that a te reo Māori name for the team would have a large upside but I disagree with what you imply – that the word “chief” was slung at the team by uninformed whities.


  3. Re: the Chiefs, the saying ‘he Piko, he taniwha’ has long been used – like, since way before European settlement – to describe the iwi up and down the Waikato River. It translates to “at every bend, a chief”.

    So what you call “white people’s interpretation of a Māori culture across the region” is in fact (the English translation of) Māori people’s description of Māori culture across the region.


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