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Aotearoa
Aotearoa
(Māori: [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is the Māori name for New Zealand. It is often mispronounced /aʊtiəˈroʊ.ə/ ( listen) by English speakers, and its use is becoming widespread in the bilingual names of national organisations and institutions. The term was originally used by Māori in reference to only the North Island. Since the 1990s, it has been customary to sing New Zealand's national anthem, "God Defend New Zealand", in both Māori and English,[1] exposing the name to a wider audience.

A bilingual sign outside the National Library of New Zealand
New Zealand
uses Aotearoa
Aotearoa
alongside New Zealand.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Usage 3 Music 4 See also 5 Notes 6 References

Etymology[edit] The original derivation of Aotearoa
Aotearoa
is not known. The word can be broken up as: ao = cloud, dawn, daytime or world, tea = white, clear or bright and roa = long. It can also be broken up as Aotea = the name of one of the migratory waka that travelled to New Zealand, or the Large Magellanic Cloud, and roa = long. The common translation is "the land of the long white cloud".[2] Alternative translations are ‘long bright world’ or ‘land of abiding day’ referring to the length and quality of the New Zealand
New Zealand
daylight (when compared to the shorter days found further north in Polynesia).[3] In some traditional stories, Aotearoa
Aotearoa
was the name of the canoe of the explorer Kupe, and he named the land after it. Kupe's wife (in some versions, his daughter) was watching the horizon and called "He ao! He ao!" ("a cloud! a cloud!"). Other versions say the canoe was guided by a long white cloud in the course of the day and by a long bright cloud at night. On arrival, the sign of land to Kupe’s crew was the long cloud hanging over it. The cloud caught Kupe’s attention and he said "Surely is a point of land". Because of the cloud which greeted them, Kupe
Kupe
named the land Aotearoa.[4] Aotearoa
Aotearoa
can also be broken up as: aotea-roa. Aotea is the name of one of the Māori migration canoes. The first land sighted was accordingly named Aotea (Cloud), now Great Barrier Island. When a much larger landmass was found beyond Aotea, it was called Aotea-roa (Long Aotea).[note 1] Usage[edit] It is not known when Māori began incorporating the name into their lore. Beginning in 1845, George Grey, Governor of New Zealand, spent some years amassing information from Māori regarding their legends and histories. He translated it into English, and in 1855 published a book called Polynesian Mythology And Ancient Traditional History Of The New Zealand
New Zealand
Race. In a reference to Maui, the culture hero, Grey's translation of the Māori read as follows:

Thus died this Maui we have spoken of; but before he died he had children, and sons were born to him; some of his descendants yet live in Hawaiki, some in Aotearoa
Aotearoa
(or in these islands); the greater part of his descendants remained in Hawaiki, but a few of them came here to Aotearoa.[5]

Aotearoa
Aotearoa
was used for the name of New Zealand
New Zealand
in the 1878 translation of the national anthem, God Defend New Zealand, by Judge Thomas H Smith of the Native Land Court,[6] the translation still used today. Also, William Pember Reeves
William Pember Reeves
used Aotearoa
Aotearoa
to mean New Zealand
New Zealand
in his history of the country published in 1898, The Long White Cloud Ao-tea-roa.[note 2] In the 19th century, Aotearoa
Aotearoa
was sometimes used to refer only to the North Island. An example of this usage appeared in the first issue of Huia Tangata Kotahi, a Māori-language newspaper published on February 8, 1893. It contained the dedication on the front page, "He perehi tenei mo nga iwi Maori, katoa, o Aotearoa, mete Waipounamu", meaning "This is a publication for the Māori tribes of Aotearoa
Aotearoa
and the South Island.[7] The widely used name for the North Island
North Island
is Te Ika a Māui, The fish of Māui. The South Island
South Island
was called Te Wai Pounamu, The Waters Of Greenstone, or Te Wāhi Pounamu, The Place Of Greenstone.[note 3] In early European maps of New Zealand, such as those of Captain James Cook, garbled versions of these names are used to refer to the two islands (often spelt Aheinomauwe and Tovypoenammoo). After the adoption of the name New Zealand
New Zealand
by Europeans, one name used by Māori to denote the country as a whole was Niu Tireni,[note 4] a transliteration of New Zealand. When Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman
reached New Zealand
New Zealand
in 1642, he named it Staten Landt, believing it to be part of the land Jacob Le Maire
Jacob Le Maire
had discovered in 1616 off the coast of Argentina. Staten Landt appeared on Tasman's first maps of New Zealand, but this was changed by Dutch cartographers to Nova Zelandia in 1645, referring to the Dutch province of Zeeland, after Hendrik Brouwer
Hendrik Brouwer
proved the South American land to be an island (1643). The Latin
Latin
Nova Zelandia became Nieuw Zeeland
Zeeland
in Dutch. Captain James Cook
James Cook
subsequently called the islands New Zealand. It seems logical that he simply applied English usage to the Dutch naming, but it has also been suggested he was confusing Zeeland
Zeeland
with the Danish island of Zealand. In 2015, to celebrate Māori Language Week, the Black Caps (the New Zealand
Zealand
national cricket team) played under the name Aotearoa
Aotearoa
for their first match against Zimbabwe.[8] Music[edit]

Aotearoa
Aotearoa
is an overture composed in 1940 by Douglas Lilburn "The Land of the Long White Cloud 'Aotearoa'" is a piece composed in 1979 by Philip Sparke for brass band or wind band The name Aotearoa
Aotearoa
gained some prominence when it was used by New Zealand
Zealand
band Split Enz
Split Enz
in the lyrics to their song "Six Months in a Leaky Boat" (1982) "Aotearoa/Land of the Long White Cloud" was the name of a song from New Zealand
New Zealand
singer Jenny Morris' seminal 1989 album Shiver Two Aotearoa
Aotearoa
Sketches for Bassoon and Piano (2004) are two pieces composed by bassoonist Michael Burns Minuit, a New Zealand
New Zealand
electronic band, released a song called "Aotearoa" on their 2009 album Find Me Before I Die A Lonely Death.com "Aotearoa” is a 2014 song released by Stan Walker
Stan Walker
featuring Ria Hall, Troy Kingi, and Maisey Rika "Millenium - Aotearoa
Aotearoa
Mix" is a song released in 1994 by UK post-punk/industrial band Killing Joke

See also[edit]

New Zealand
New Zealand
portal

New Zealand
New Zealand
place names

Notes[edit]

^ There are several other explanations of the origin of the word Aotearoa, of varying plausibility. Those that apply more to the South Island, relating to high snowy mountain ranges, or to the long Southern twilight, must be regarded with suspicion, given that Māori only used Aotearoa
Aotearoa
to refer to the North Island. One explanation derives the name from seafaring. The first sign of land from a boat is often cloud in the sky above the island. The North Island's mountain ranges sometimes generate standing waves of long lenticular clouds. Another explanation relates to the mountains of the North Island Volcanic Plateau. In some years, the mountains are snow-capped for limited periods. The supposition here is that Polynesian travellers, unused to snow, might well have seen these snowy peaks as a long white cloud. A third hypothesis surmises that Polynesian seafarers came from the tropics where night comes rapidly, with little twilight. New Zealand, in temperate latitudes, would have provided long periods of evening twilight, and also long summer days. Thus Aotearoa, would then translate as "long light sky”. ^ The long White Cloud Ao-tea-roa can be viewed online at Project Gutenberg. ^ As a counterpart to Te Ika a Māui, the South Island
South Island
is sometimes referred to as Te Waka o Māui, The Canoe of Māui, or Te Waka o Aoraki, The Canoe of Aoraki, depending on one's tribal connections. Most of the South Island
South Island
is settled by the descendants of Aoraki, after whom the country's highest mountain is named (according to legend, he was turned into the mountain), but the northern end was settled by tribes who favour the Māui version. ^ The spelling varies, for example, the variant Nu Tirani appears in the Māori version of the Treaty of Waitangi. Whatever the spelling, this name is now rarely used as Māori no longer favour the use of transliterations from English.

References[edit]

^ "God Defend New Zealand/ Aotearoa
Aotearoa
Ministry for Culture and Heritage". www.mch.govt.nz. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 29 April 2017.  ^ "Swirling cloud captured above New Zealand
New Zealand
- 'The Land of the Long White Cloud'". Telegraph.co.uk. 22 January 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2017.  ^ Jock Philips (ed.). "Light - Experiencing New Zealand
New Zealand
light". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.  ^ A.H.McLintock (ed.). "Aotearoa". Encyclopedia of New Zealand (1966).  ^ Grey, Sir George. "Polynesian Mythology and Ancient Traditional History of the New Zealand
New Zealand
Race". New Zealand
New Zealand
Texts Collection, Victoria University Of Wellington. Retrieved 27 April 2013.  ^ "History of God Defend New Zealand". Manatu Taonga. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2012.  ^ "Huia Tangata Kotahi". New Zealand
New Zealand
Digital Library, University of Waikato. Retrieved 2 April 2013.  ^ " New Zealand
New Zealand
to play as Aotearoa". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 

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