The New Zealand Maori Party said on Monday that the country’s name should be changed to better reflect the country’s indigenous culture.
The politicians of this party want the country to be called “Aoteroa”. The word means “Land of White Clouds” in the native language of the country, also known as Te Re.
English and Maori are the two official languages in New Zealand. Maori are the largest ethnic minority, accounting for 16.5% of the population.
But citizens of indigenous origin complain that English has become too dominant and ignore the country’s history.
“It is unacceptable that only 3% of the country’s population can speak their official language,” the website said, quoting Maori party candidate Raviri Waititi. Thing.
They want the name change to take effect in 2026.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was in favor of the proposal, but did not openly support it.
“I hear Aotearoa and New Zealand being used interchangeably, and that’s a good thing,” Ardern said. New Zealand Herald.
The prime minister’s main rival in next month’s general election has said that instead, the Maori party’s goal is to “grab the headlines”.
[La propuesta] “This would disrupt our international brand tremendously, as exports are vital to our economic survival.”
Efforts to rename the Pacific nation have continued for years. New Zealand’s name comes from the colonial era of the Netherlands and the country takes its name from the Dutch province of Zeeland.
JLF / MSH (DPA)