October 10, 2013
Te reo option for North and South Islands
It's official – you can now call the North Island Te Ika a Maui and the mainland Te Waipounamu.
Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson has accepted a recommendation by the Geographic Board to formalise the English and Maori names of the two main islands of New Zealand.
Board chair Don Grant says the overwhelming majority of public submitters said they wanted the choice.
The Minister's decision means LINZ maps and charts will be changed to feature both names as they come up for revision in the normal course of maintenance.
Dr Grant says Maori names were used by the early European explorers beginning with Captain Cook and continued to be used throughout most of New Zealand’s history, so the decision simply brings them back as an option for those who want to continue using them.
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