Poll shows 1 in 3 support renaming New Zealand Aotearoa

Māori Party candidate for Waiariki, Rawiri Waititi. Photo: NZ Herald
Māori Party candidate for Waiariki, Rawiri Waititi. Photo: NZ Herald
A poll has found a third of New Zealanders want to rename New Zealand to Aotearoa.

The 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll showed 32 per cent support for the name change and 61 per cent opposed - mostly older New Zealanders, National and Act Party supporters.

The remaining 7 per cent did not know.

Ahead of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori (Māori language week) last month, Māori Party candidate for Waiariki, Rawiri Waititi, announced the party's policy for te reo Māori.

The policy set out to ensure New Zealand's name is changed to Aotearoa and that all Pākeha place names, cities and towns will be replaced with their original Māori ingoa (name) by 2026.

NZ First leader Winston Peters called the policy "headline hunting".

"This is plain headline hunting without any regard to the cost to this country," Peters wrote on Twitter.

"It will make our international marketing brand extraordinarily confusing when exports will be critical to our economic survival."

Peters went on to say the Māori Party was "again rushing down the path of separatism" instead of focusing on jobs, housing, health and education.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern did not say whether she supported an official name change, but told media she was seeing "Aotearoa" used more often.

"I hear more and more often the use of Aotearoa interchangeable with New Zealand and that is a positive thing," she said.

"Whether or not we change it in law I don't think changes the fact that New Zealand is increasingly referred to as Aotearoa."

She had not explored an official name change but was encouraged to see people use it more frequently.

Act leader David Seymour said now was not the time to argue about a name change.

"I don't care if we call it Timbuktu right now.

"When we're on top of this crisis and the debt it's created, then we can debate the name."

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson said the party supported a "public kōrero around the use of Māori place names".

"We're really pleased that Aotearoa is now in common use, including in the official name of our own party, and believe this widespread usage is something to celebrate," she said.

On 1 News tonight, National Party leader Judith Collins said she was happy with the name New Zealand.

Comments

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Your headline should read:

2/3rds of New Zealand's population don't want anything to do with changing our country's name.

I agree with this comment. 33% of the population supporting a change to Aotearoa is hardly headline news. 66% opposing the change is.
Personally I support the change, I'm one of the 33%. However I understand that it will take another 20 years before the baby boomer population bubble has passed on and this ratio reverses. Maybe in 10 years enough of the Boomers will have died that the ratio will be down to 50/50. Can't happen soon enough as far as I'm concerned.
Oh, and for the record, I'm a boomer, a pakeha boomer myself.

Good for you...Nothing like hoping that your fellow citizens die soon, is there?!
I'm sure those same 'boomers' look forward to leaving this country in a far better shape than when they arrived into it. But it will be a shame when the younger "ME" generation ruin it so quickly with their rash decision making.
Oh, and for the record, I'm a 25 year Maori woman.

Only the perpetually offended want to change the name, leave it alone.

Zealandia has a nice ring to it. Though I wonder what the Morioris first called it?

Given that Moriori are Polynesian and descended from Maori who settled the Chatham Island after migrating from Aotearoa some 500 years ago they probably called it Aotearoa.

So two out of three think it is a daft idea!

It's not often I agree with Judith!

So the majority of people are AGAINST changing the name. In a democracy the majority decision counts, so the name should stay as New Zealand. Same thing with the names of places and towns.
No need to change the names, the majority do not want it.

The danger is the confusion with Australia. People might start calling us Aostraleroans.

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