Shane Jones – mollyhawk or mollymawk?

Shane Jones was quoted on Waatea News in Mollyhawk squawk over ironsand hearing:

Mr Jones says it’s not appropriate for a member of parliament to shoot down a statutory organisation fulfilling its statutory responsibility.

“What has irked me is not the existence of the process but the perception there are two standards here. I’m being required, after I raised issues to do with the supermarket, to void speaking too much about the role of the commerce commission so they have got clear air to do their job. If it’s good enough for me, in Labour, it’s good enough for the Green mollyhawk to do the same thing with that statutory organisation,” he says.

There has been confusion and disputes over the use of the mollyhawk versus mollymawk.

Jones has made it clear on Twitter what he meant:

Gareth Hughes @GarethMP Mar 10

Jones is calling me a mollyhawk. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9810796/Hughes-a-mollyhawk-JonesProbably … maybe it’s because like a seabird I care deeply about the marine environment

Don Christie@normnz Mar 10

@GarethMP You should sue. That claim is quite ridiculous and it is time to raise the level of debate in NZ.

Southern Limits ‏@southernlimitnzMar 10

.@normnz @GarethMP should sue @matuashane for not even getting his insult right. It’s “mawk” not “hawk.” Linnaeus weeps

Shane Jones @matuashane Mar 10

@southernlimitnz @normnz @GarethMP actually it is hawk! Talk to those us who put up with wretched bird@beach and on farm, not academics!

So Jones meant ‘mollyhawk’.

For the difference between mollyhawk (gull) and mollymawk (albatross) see Mollyhawk versus mollymawk.

Mollyhawk versus mollymawk

There’s confusion over the difference between a mollyhawk and a mollymawk after Shane Jones referred to Gareth Hughes as a mollyhawk.

Mollyhawk squawk over ironsand hearing

Mr Jones says it’s not appropriate for a member of parliament to shoot down a statutory organisation fulfilling its statutory responsibility.

“What has irked me is not the existence of the process but the perception there are two standards here. I’m being required, after I raised issues to do with the supermarket, to void speaking too much about the role of the commerce commission so they have got clear air to do their job.

If it’s good enough for me, in Labour, it’s good enough for the Green mollyhawk to do the same thing with that statutory organisation,” he says.

According to NZ Birds Online there’s a distinct difference.

Mollyhawks:

Larus dominicanus
Conservation status: Not Threatened
Other Names are: karoro, kelp gull, dominican gull, black-backed gull, mollyhawk, seagull, blackbacked gull, black backed gull

Pacific gull

Larus pacificus
Conservation status: Vagrant
Laridae, Larus

Other Names are: jack gull, Australian gull, large-billed gull, larger gull, mollyhawk

Mollymawks:

Chatham Island mollymawk

Thalassarche eremita
Conservation status: Naturally Uncommon
Diomedeidae, Thalassarche

Other Names are: Chatham Island albatross, Chatham albatross, toroa, Chatham shy albatross, Chatham mollymawk

Campbell black-browed mollymawk

Thalassarche impavida
Conservation status: Naturally Uncommon
Diomedeidae, Thalassarche

Other Names are: Campbell Island mollymawk, Campbell black-browed albatross, Campbell Island albatross, toroa, black browed mollymawk, blackbrowed mollymawk, black browed albatross, blackbrowed albatross, Campbell mollymawk, Campbell albatross

And more varieties of mollymawk here.

UPDATE: a comment at Kiwiblog from Maggy Wassilieff:

Sorry P.G….. mollyhawk is a variant word use of mollymawk…. check out H.W. Orsman ” The Oxford Dictionary of NZ English”.

ps. you’ve gotta know how to check facts if you’re editing a fact-checking service.

pps. personal disclosure: I was the plant editorial advisor for DNZE

That wasn’t a comprehensive fact checking exercise. I thought NZ Birds Online was a reasonable source.

Collins dictionary online:

mollyhawk
(New Zealand) the juvenile of the southern black-backed gull (Larus dominicanus)

mollymawk
(New Zealand) an informal name for mallemuck

I don’t have that version of the Oxford Dictionary of New Zealand English.

Online is The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary, it only lists mollymawk.

The Encyclopedia of New Zealand:

New Zealand’s smaller albatrosses
Mollymawks The Thalassarche albatrosses, sometimes known as mollymawks, are considerably smaller than the great albatrosses.

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/search/teara?keys=mollymawk

No entry for mollyhawk.

It’s not surprising that the two might get confused in general usage.

Additional facts and references are always a possibility in research.

See also: Shane Jones – mollyhawk or mollymawk?