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Aotearoa - That's why votes are being raised to change the name of New Zealand

Aotearoa – That’s why votes are being raised to change the name of New Zealand

Aotearoa, or the land of the tall white cloud as if in Swedish, comes from the indigenous Maori of New Zealand. They may have come to present-day New Zealand from Polynesia sometime between the 8th and 13th centuries.

To Europeans, the country became known only in 1642 when Dutchman Abel Tasman passed through the region on behalf of the East India Company.

70,000 signatures

Now the votes are raised to change the name. Among other things, the Maori party is behind the proposal A small party in Parliament.

According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 70,000 signatures have been collected. This means that the Parliamentary Committee must prepare the matter and may recommend either a vote in Parliament or a referendum or no action.

The name itself is nothing new, but it is already used in everyday speech and also in official documents.

Many want to keep New Zealand

But according to an opinion poll indicated by the newspaper, more than half of the respondents want to keep the name New Zealand.

Jim Bolt, mayor of Queenstown, fears the name change will confuse tourists.

It would be as if BMW changed its name to Bavarian Motors, he tells The Wall Street Journal.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said earlier that an official name change was never considered, but she is encouraging people to use the name.

– I’m increasingly hearing Aotearoa used interchangeably with New Zealand and that’s a positive thing, she said according to Watchman.

Watch three countries that changed their names in the clip below.

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The King of Swaziland changed the name of the state to Eswatini, so as not to be confused with Switzerland. picture: SVT . archives
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