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Name our Islands


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Author Topic: Name our Islands  (Read 641 times)
Newtown-Fella
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« on: April 22, 2009, 11:30:35 am »

Maui fished up a dilemma

You might have always known them as plain North and South, but it turns out our two biggest islands have an identity crisis.
What do you think? Post a comment

The Geographic Board plans to formalise the names North Island and South Island after discovering they were not official. It is also investigating alternative Maori names for the two land masses.

Chairman Don Grant said yesterday: "Interestingly, while researching this issue, we noted that `North Island' and `South Island' are actually not official names under our legislation, despite their long-term usage."

The board would be writing to iwi representatives over the next few weeks to seek traditional Maori names and associated stories for the islands, he said. It planned to widen the consultation to all New Zealanders next year.

Dr Grant said the English and Maori names would be alternative they could be used individually or with the other.

That was different from dual naming, in which both names were used together on official documents, such as maps.

The board decided that a name change or dual names would "cause too much cost and disruption throughout the whole country and for visitors".

Dr Grant said Te Ika a Maui for the North Island and Te Wai Pounamu for the South were on early official maps and documents, including Captain Cook's.

The board's decision to investigate alternative Maori names was prompted by a 2004 proposal from Christchurch man Keith Darroch to rename the South Island Te Wai Pounamu. In 2007, the board decided it would not consider a Maori name for the South Island in isolation.

Maori names for the North Island:
Te Ika a Maui (the fish of Maui), Aotearoa, Aeheinomouwe  - Captain Cook's spelling of what might be He Ahi No Maui  (a fire of Maui) or He Hi No Maui (a thing of Maui)

Maori names for the South Island: Te Tumuki (the oldest recorded name), Te Arapaoa,  Te Wai Pounamu, Tovypoenammu (Captain Cook's  spelling of Te Wai Pounamu), Te Wahi Pounamu, Te  Waka a Maui, Te Waka o Aoraki, Tau Ihu o te Waka.

Other English names that have been used:
Middle Island - for the South Island (where the name 'South  Island' was used for Stewart Island/Rakiura)
New Ulster - for the North Island
New Munster - for the South Island
Island of Victoria - for the South Island.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/2352803/Maui-fished-up-a-dilemma
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