One mum has hit out at her daughter's nursery after she found out that they shortened her name because it was 'too hard to pronounce'.
Mahinarangi Tautu had just started to attend the day centre in New Zealand when her Maori mum Paris was told that staff had been calling the five-year-old "Rangi".
Staff told Paris that they had struggled to pronounce Mahinarangi - a traditional Maori name which means 'moon in the sky' - so they shortened it, reports The Mirror.
Furious Paris also said cruel children laughed at her daughter's traditional name and the bullying has left Mahinarangi so distraught that she doesn't even try to correct people when they say her name wrong.
Mahinarangi's name was picked by her parents as it was Ngāti Raukawa heritage, passed down through several generations and has a deep line of descent, known as whakapapa, which often shows where someone is from.
Not giving someone their full name can be seen as a lack of respect.
In a community Facebook post, Paris said: "Can you imagine your child being too embarrassed to say their name because people won't make a decent effort to pronounce it properly?"
"I am sad that in 2021, in Aotearoa, a 5-year-old girl has lost the pride that comes with her beautiful name.
"It made me so angry, especially because they'd use Maori resources in her classes."
Paris told New Zealand Herald that her ancestors endured a similar experience which has made her even more determined to make sure her daughter's name is pronounced correctly and not changed.
She said: "My ancestors changed their original name from Perepe-Perana to Phillips because of colonisation.
"I will not let something similar happen with my daughter."
Paris said she has taught Mahinarangi to break down her name into single syllables to educate people and help them to say her name correctly.
She is also urging other parents to remind their children about the importance of their name if it is traditional and part of their culture.
"It's important for our kids to be confident in their names, regardless of their ethnicity," she said.