60,000 sign petition to rename New Zealand Aotearoa

Maori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer explains why she decided to get the vaccine. Video / Supplied

By Will Trafford from Maori television

Te Pati Māori says more than 60,000 people have signed his petition to officially rename New Zealand to Aotearoa.

The petition was launched on the party’s website two weeks ago, with co-leader Rawiri Waititi saying there was a “shift in momentum and a mood for change”.

“It’s not about changing who we are, but I think about strengthening who we are as a nation.”

The party is also calling for the official names of the cities to be replaced with their original Maori names by 2026.

“This is to restore the original name of this country, Aotearoa, as well as many place names,” he said.

The figures come from a 1News Colmar Brunton poll, which found that 41% of those polled wanted Aotearoa to be either the official motu name or in favor of a dual name.

Some 9 percent of people wanted a complete change to Aotearoa, while 31 percent said they were interested in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Obviously for young people

Te Pati Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa Packer said the results, which showed 58% of “New Zealand” to be in favor, were representative of an older generational view.

“It’s a given to the younger population. What we have is an ilk, and unfortunately it’s often those who have been interviewed, who are older and don’t want to change.

Te Pati Māori co-leaders Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Rawiri Waititi.  Photo / Mark Mitchell
Te Pati Māori co-leaders Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Rawiri Waititi. Photo / Mark Mitchell

“If it’s not Aotearoa now, then when?” When can we be Maori and express ourselves? “

Asked about her views on the poll, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she supported the interchangeability of the two names.

“For me, I would like to continue to see it used interchangeably and so whether or not there should be an official name change really becomes a moot point because it just becomes part of how we refer to. our country, ”Ardern said.

National calls for a referendum on the issue, accusing the government of renaming the country “on the sly”, citing government departments that use Aotearoa in their branding, communications and marketing.

In response to Te Pati Māori’s petition, New Zealand’s first leader, Winston Peters, started his own petition to retain New Zealand’s name. Peters says “Keep it New Zealand” received 16,000 signatures.

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