Tuesday January 23, 2018   Last updated 06:51AM
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Maori mood growing for name change
Dr Moana Jackson

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Maori constitutional scholar Dr Moana Jackson says there would be an appetite in Maoridom for a change in the country's name.

It's 375 years since Abel Tasman made a brief stop in Aotearoa, leaving behind the bodies of four crew members killed in a clash with Ngati Tumatakokiri at Mohua/ Golden Bay.

The name he gave that area, Murderers' Bay, has been changed, but we have retained the name the Dutch explorer gave the country which referenced the Zeeland archipelago in the southwest of the Netherlands.

Moana Jackson says the issue of a name change came up surprisingly often during the 250 hui he has held on constitutional change based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

"There's been discussion about it already in the sense more and more people are now suggesting we should use names like Te ika a Maui and Te Waka a Maui and so on instead of the hardly romantic and evocative names of North Island and South Island and the fact more people are calling the country Aotearoa," he says.

Mr Jackson says he was humbled by receiving an hoborary doctorate in law from Victoria University of Wellington last Friday, but the best part of ther ceremopny was seeing the number of young Maori graduating and ready to start their careers.

MOANA JACKSON INTERVIEW

 

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