Weather forecaster Philip Duncan has expressed his “disappointment” in New Zealanders who did not like him calling New Zealand “Aotearoa.”

Duncan said it is disappointing that many New Zealanders are still showing resistance to embracing te reo Maori. He jokingly suggested that those who had felt compelled to air their grievances likely did not have much else going on in their lives. 

“As I replied to one of them, Aotearoa was around before New Zealand,” he said. 

I along with many other New Zealanders who know our New Zealand history are disappointed in him for displaying his ignorance of NZ history. New Zealand came before Aotearoa and Aotearoa was the name one or two tribes gave to the North Island of New Zealand.

Captain Cook’s map of NZ.

Those Maori tribes never used it to describe the entire country and it was never a name that all the tribes of New Zealand used to describe the North Island.

In short, it was the Pakeha that decided to start using the name to describe the whole country and that didn’t happen till well after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, evidenced by the fact that nowhere in the Maori translation of the treaty is the name Aotearoa anywhere to be found!

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Disappointment of the Day
The BFD Staff

The BFD Staff

A contribution from The BFD staff.