Have you noticed that the TV stations have put themselves up as (so-called) experts at maori placenames pronunciation? But the people who live in these towns don't pronounce it like that.
A recent story on TV1 about Matamata is a case in point. The TV people pronounced it Muttumuttu whereas the locals pronounced it Matamata - the "a" pronounced the same as in cat or hat. Surely the correct pronunciation of a town's name is the way that the locals pronounce it?
Besides, I would have thought that the people who first wrote down the maori placenames would have written them down as they heard them so if that is the case why did they not write muttumuttu? That must have been because the moaris they heard speaking pronounced it Matamata. And where on earth do you get an F sound from Wh? If the maoris pronounced it that way surely they would have written Ph or F?
It seems that the correct way to pronounce maori placenames is as it is written, not the way that the TV stations pronounce them.