April 21, 2009

NZ plans to legitimize island names

The New Zealand Geographic Board says it wants to make the names of the country's North and South Islands official and find new Maori names for the islands.

Don Grant, chairman of the geographic board, said the body discovered while searching for Maori names for the islands that their English names have never been made official, The Dominion Post reported Tuesday.

Interestingly, while researching this issue, we noted that 'North Island' and 'South Island' are actually not official names under our legislation, despite their common long-term usage, Grant said.

Grant said the board plans to turn to the public for information on the traditional Maori names for the islands.