We have launched our mobile app, get it now. Call : 9354229384, 9354252518, 9999830584.  

Current Affairs

Changing New Zealand’s name

Date: 18 September 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The Maori Party of New Zealand has launched a petition to change name of New Zealand to “Aotearoa”.

 

Background

The “Aotearoa” signifies “land of the long white cloud” in the indigenous Te Reo Maori language.

 

Details

  • The party has also asked New Zealand government to restore the Maori names for all towns, cities and place names.

  • The party has also asked for Te Reo Maori to be restored to its rightful place as the first and official language of this country.

  • The party alleges that people having fluency in the language fell to 26 per cent in 1950 from about 90% in 1910. Only 3 per cent of the people living in the country currently speak the language.

 

History of name

  • The Maori tales talk about Kupe, an East Polynesian explorer who discovered the island when he was trying to find new land.

  • Another tale says that New Zealand was discovered by his daughter and the name Aotearoa was named after the canoe Kupe was riding on.

 

Modern name

  • The island was discovered by Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer with the Dutch East India Company (VOC), in 1640s. He called it “Nieuw Zeeland”, named after the Dutch province of Zeeland.

  • The detailed and accurate maps of the country were marked for the first time when English explorer Captain James Cook set foot.

 

Conflict

  • The name Aotearoa is used interchangeably with New Zealand in some cases. Some argue that the name represents only the North Island and it came into existence only recently.

  • The Maori party has criticized the opposing sections for disrespecting oral traditions of the older Maoris. They say the name finds mention in their culture.