Dr Hilton Le Grice: God save the New Zealand that we once knew.

1. Recently – Otago University – the oldest in NZ, and founded with pure Scottish history by new immigrants – my ‘Alma Mater’ for my 6 years undergraduate study in Medicine, and where 2 grandchildren are recent graduates and 2 are presently attending there – has recently – ‘wait for it’ -unbelievably announced a name change to that of the invented M?ori title of ‘Otakou Whakaihu’. Of course, Māori had a lot to do with the foundation of Otago University in 1869 – like ‘zilch’!!!

TODAY we also hear the news that previous Deputy PM and Minister of Finance, Grant Roberson – after destroying our economy and putting NZ into a huge unbelievable debt position – is leaving politics to take up the position of no less than Vice Chancellor (the CEO) of the University of Otago!

One has to wonder as to the University of Otago Council who made these two decisions.

2. Today we also learn that St. John of NZ – now renamed ‘Hato Hone’ by its ‘Knights of St John’ administrators, is having to cut back on its services (largely government funded anyway) because of financial difficulties. It is understood that many longtime annual donors – including my family for 40 years- have ceased their contributions because of the change to a Māori name – which St John officially refuses to alter.

Can we believe that this ancient ‘order’ was founded by Monks in Jerusalem in about 1080 to provide first aid, healthcare, and support – especially to many pilgrims- and is a movement established in about 40 countries worldwide. My postgraduate teaching hospital in London founded in 1805 has had a 200 Year history of mutual cooperation with that of the St John hospital in Jerusalem.

We can see how intimately NZ Māori has had such an association with St John, that its name here has such justification to be now changed to ‘Hato Hone’ – with such tragic financial results!

Dr Hylton Le Grice


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