Let’s call it Aotearoa

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Dear Editor,

 

Re: NZ an awful name for God’s own 

Excellent article, though I was a little surprised by your apparent defence of the British culture which has been imposed on New Zealand, and failure to recognise that these places all had perfectly good names before the British arrived. 

There was no need to change them, other than jingoist arrogance. 

All of the other examples you mentioned involved reversion to the place-names used by the indigenous peoples. That is their right. I believe Maori place names are also official - but rarely used. 

New Zealand should return to the name Aotearoa, the North and South Islands to Te Ika a Maui (perhaps Maui for short) and Te Wai Pounamu (or Pounamu for short). 

Yes, there is already a Maui in Hawaii and thus the international community is made to recognise the homogeneity of the wider Polynesian community. Auckland should indeed return to the name Tamaki-Makaurau (Tamaki for short, or Tamaki City perhaps), and Wellington to Whanganui-a-Tara (Whanganui for short, or perhaps Whanganui City) and of course New Zealand should go much further than this and raise a bilingual nation. 

I learnt nothing of the Maori language, culture and heritage during my schooling in Wellington, and had to learn it all myself as an adult - which I did of my own volition.

 

Istanbul Wingman

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