Index – Overseas – New Zealand could change its name

The Wall Street Journal reports that some lawmakers want New Zealanders to ditch the colonial-era name and adopt another.

More than 70,000 people have signed a petition to change the Dutch-English name for New Zealand (Nieuw Zeeland) to the indigenous Maori name Aotearoa, prompting a parliamentary committee to consider the idea, according to NPR. in his article.

Aotearoa is a Maori word for the clouds that, according to the oral traditions of the indigenous people, helped early Polynesian navigators on their way here. Many nations around the world are rethinking their identity, and as part of the process they are trying to confront their troubled colonial pasts.

In some cases, this includes changing the official name, as happened in Eswatini in 2018, when the absolute monarch decided that the country should no longer be referred to as Swaziland. It is reported that Australia has changed its national anthem in recent years because it does not reflect the history of the indigenous people Wall Street Journal.

The word Aotearoa has become increasingly common in everyday speech in recent decades, appearing on banknotes and passports and often appearing on government documents, either alone or in association with New Zealand. When the United States and New Zealand issued a joint statement following their leaders’ meeting in May, Jacinda Ardern Aotearoa New Zealand Male as prime minister. Maori is one of the three official languages ​​of New Zealand, but its use has been restricted in the past.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern welcomes wider use of Aotearoa, but the government is not considering changing the official name, said a spokesperson for the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. Among the supporters of the referendum is Christopher Luxon, leader of the opposition National Party, who says this is an issue that the government should not decide.