October 14, 2013
Name oversight corrected
Ngai Tahu kaumauta Sir Tipene O’Regan says a recommendation for alternate names for the North and South Islands is a positive contribution to the nation.
Land Information Minister Maurice Williams has accepted a recommendation from the Geographic Board that the North Island also be known at Te Ika a Maui and the South Te Waipounamu.
Sir Tipene, who was a long-serving member of the board, says the names North and South Island had never been officially recognised.
That historical oversight is now corrected, along with formalising the Maori names.
"It was a bit funny really because there was already a certain amount of leaping up and down by the ngati redneckery tribe that this was a low blow, and attempt to further racialise New Zealand, to tear us apart by Maorifying place names and changing things to Maori names and of course what we were aiming to do was return the general situation or formalise the situation that existed before the late 1950s when Maori names were dropped off maps," Sir Tipene says.
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