September 15, 2021
Aotearoa name change debate low priority for minister
The Māori Development Minister says now is not the right time to change New Zealand’s official name to Aotearoa.
The Māori Party has launched a petition calling for a change not just of the name of the country but for all towns and places to revert to their original Māori names by 2026.
Willie Jackson says he uses Aotearoa or New Zealand, depending on the context.
He’s happy to work with the Māori Party on kaupapa like getting Māori vaccinated and recovering from the pandemic, but not on that.
“Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of tautoko from both sides in terms of what we are doing for our people but on this one we’ve got overriding priorities at this time that will not be a priority for me but good luck to them for their petition,” Mr Jackson says.
By noon today the online petition had gained more than 30.000 signatures.