Saturday April 25th, 2009
COUNTRY TO BE RENAMED
It has taken 200 years for officials in New Zealand to realise that the names for the two islands were never legally registered. So now the Kiwis are beings asked what they would like to call North and South Island.
The mistake was uncovered by researchers looking for Maori names for the islands and now the Geographic Board want to be able to use either English, Mauri or even both. However there are already several existing Mauri names for the islands, which include Te Ika a Mau (the fish of Mau) for North Island and Te Wai Pounamu (the waters of greenstone) for South Island. The charts created by Captain Cook when he discovered New Zealand have Mauri names used on them.
Dr Don Grant, chairman of the geographic Board said, 'This is part of our country's history of European exploration and settlement. It was only from the 1950s that Maori names stopped appearing on official maps.'
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