Priorities 

Published on Author Dan MoskovitzLeave a comment

Wellington man Danny Tahau Jobe has started a petition to include the Maori name of New Zealand, Aotearoa, in NZ’s official name.

As of this morning, the petition was close to 3250 signatures. ‘

What’s interesting is that the petition is not calling for an immediate name change, rather, it’s calling for a referendum on the issue.

But referendums are expensive. The flag one showed us how much money can be wasted on something fairly trivial. Referendums are also coming up in the next few years on voluntary euthanasia and cannabis legalization, there’s probably a chance that voters could suffer from referendum fatigue.

Yet, while it may be trivial, there would be an outcry if parliament were to decide without a referendum.

Another thing of note is that we already use Aotearoa New Zealand as our name fairly frequently, as stuff explains in the aforementioned article:

“Official documents of national identity, birth & citizenship certificates, passports and money-notes have Aotearoa and New Zealand together as the names of the country. Only ‘New Zealand’ has official status.

So the main result of a name change would be international recognition.

While changing the name to Aotearoa-New Zealand is something I would mildly support, it still feels like something fairly minor that should be fairly low down the list of things to do for government. Like an NZ republic or a flag change.

And should the government consider it? Well, it is, in the end, it is something that everyone should weigh in on in a referendum, despite how annoyingly trivial it is, and how much a referendum would cost.

My view? Not really a “good” solution here.

 

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