The Maori party launched a campaign to change New Zealand’s name to Aotearoa, which is translated into Te Rio. CNN reports that.
The initiative also aims to restore the Maori names of all New Zealand cities and place names. “It is time to bring Te Reo Maori back into place as the first official language. We are a Polynesian country, we are Aotearoa,” reads the party’s statement announcing that it intends to complete the renaming process by 2026.
Mastery of the Maori language in New Zealand fell from 90% in 1910 to 26% in 1950. Today only 3% of the population can speak it. The petition has so far received 12,000 signatures, a “huge” result, according to the party’s Twitter account. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has yet to comment on the initiative. A year ago he described it as positive that “New Zealand” and “Aotearoa” should be interchangeable, but also stated that it was not the government’s intention to officially change the name of the country.
Reproduction is reserved © Copyright ANSA
“Reader. Travel maven. Student. Passionate tv junkie. Internet ninja. Twitter advocate. Web nerd. Bacon buff.”