is the most widely known and accepted Māori
Māori or te reo Māori , commonly te reo , is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori. It has the status of an official language in New Zealand...
name for New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...
. It is used by both Māori and non-Māori, and is becoming increasingly widespread in the bilingual names of national organisations, such as the National Library of New Zealand
The National Library of New Zealand is New Zealand's legal deposit library charged with the obligation to "enrich the cultural and economic life of New Zealand and its interchanges with other nations"...
/ Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa.
The original derivation of Aotearoa
is not known for certain. The word can be broken up as: ao
= cloud, tea
= white and roa
= long, and it is therefore usually glossed as "the land of the long white cloud". In some traditional stories, Aotearoa was the name of the canoe of the explorer Kupe
In the Māori mythology of some tribes, Kupe was involved in the Polynesian discovery of New Zealand.-Contention:There is contention concerning the status of Kupe. The contention turns on the authenticity of later versions of the legends, the so-called 'orthodox' versions closely associated with S....
, 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 named the land Aotearoa. Aotearoa can also be broken up as: aotea-roa
is the name of one of the Māori migration canoes
Various Māori traditions recount how their ancestors set out from their homeland in great ocean-going canoes . Some of these traditions name a mythical homeland called Hawaiki....
. The first land sighted was accordingly named Aotea
(Cloud), now Great Barrier Island
Great Barrier Island is a large island of New Zealand, situated to the north-east of central Auckland in the outer Hauraki Gulf. With an area of it is the fourth-largest island of New Zealand's main chain of islands, with its highest point, Mount Hobson, rising...
. When a much larger landmass was found beyond Aotea, it was called Aotea-roa
The use of Aotearoa
to refer to the whole of New Zealand is a post-colonial usage. In pre-colonial times, Māori did not have a commonly-used name for the whole New Zealand archipelago. Until the 20th century, 'Aotearoa' was used to refer to the North Island
The North Island is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, separated from the much less populous South Island by Cook Strait. The island is in area, making it the world's 14th-largest island...
only. As an example from the late 19th century, the first issue of Huia Tangata Kotahi
, a Māori language newspaper, dated 8 February 1893, contains the dedication on page 1: 'He perehi tenei mo nga iwi Māori, katoa, o Aotearoa, mete Waipounamu' (This is a publication for the all Māori tribes of Aotearoa and the South Island
), where 'Aotearoa' can only mean the North Island. One of the earliest references to Aotearoa
as referring to the whole of New Zealand is William Pember Reeves' history of New Zealand The Long White Cloud Ao-tea-roa
published in 1898
Historians (e.g., Michael King
Michael King, OBE was a New Zealand popular historian, author and biographer. He wrote or edited over 30 books on New Zealand topics, including The Penguin History of New Zealand, which was the most popular New Zealand book of 2004.-Life:King was born in Wellington to Eleanor and Commander Lewis...
) have suggested that the use of Aotearoa to mean 'New Zealand' was initiated by Pākehā
Pākehā is a Māori language word for New Zealanders who are "of European descent". They are mostly descended from British and to a lesser extent Irish settlers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, although some Pākehā have Dutch, Scandinavian, German, Yugoslav or other ancestry...
(non-Māori). He theorises that it originated from mistakes in the February 1916 School Journal
and was propagated in a similar manner to the myths surrounding the Moriori
Moriori are the indigenous people of the Chatham Islands , east of the New Zealand archipelago in the Pacific Ocean...
. In light of Reeves' earlier usage this theory is now discredited. Influenced by this English-language usage, Aotearoa is now the term used in Māori.
Another well-known and presumably widely used name for the North Island is Te Ika a Māui
(The fish of Māui
In Māori mythology, Māui is a culture hero famous for his exploits and his trickery.-Māui's birth:The offspring of Tū increased and multiplied and did not know death until the generation of Māui-tikitiki . Māui is the son of Taranga, the wife of Makeatutara...
). The South Island
The South Island is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the more populous North Island. It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean...
was called Te Wai Pounamu
(The waters of greenstone) or Te Wāhi Pounamu
(The place of greenstone). 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
). After the adoption of the name New Zealand
by Europeans, the name used by Māori to denote the country as a whole was Niu Tireni
, a transliteration
Transliteration is a subset of the science of hermeneutics. It is a form of translation, and is the practice of converting a text from one script into another...
of New Zealand
. When Abel Tasman
Abel Janszoon Tasman was a Dutch seafarer, explorer, and merchant, best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644 in the service of the VOC . His was the first known European expedition to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land and New Zealand and to sight the Fiji islands...
reached New Zealand in 1642, he named it Staten Landt
, believing it to be part of the land Jacob Le Maire
Jacob Le Maire was a Dutch mariner who circumnavigated the earth in 1615-16. The strait between Tierra del Fuego and Isla de los Estados was named the Le Maire Strait in his honor, though not without controversy...
had discovered in 1616 off the coast of Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...
. Staten Landt
appeared on Tasman's first maps of New Zealand, but this was changed by Dutch
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...
Cartography is the study and practice of making maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively.The fundamental problems of traditional cartography are to:*Set the map's...
to Nova Zelandia
, after the Dutch province of Zeeland
Zeeland , also called Zealand in English, is the westernmost province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, consists of a number of islands and a strip bordering Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg. With a population of about 380,000, its area is about...
, some time after Hendrik Brouwer
Hendrik Brouwer was a Dutch explorer, admiral, and colonial administrator both in Japan and the Dutch East Indies....
proved the South American land to be an island in 1643. The Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...
became Nieuw Zeeland
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...
. Captain James Cook subsequently called the islands New Zealand
. It seems logical that he simply applied English
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...
usage to the Dutch naming, but it has also been suggested he was possibly confusing Zeeland with the Danish
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...
island of Zealand.
gained some prominence when it was used by New Zealand band Split Enz
Split Enz were a New Zealand band of the 1970s and early 1980s featuring Phil Judd and brothers Tim Finn and Neil Finn. They achieved chart success in New Zealand, Australia, and Canada during the early 1980s ‒ most notably with the single "I Got You", and built a cult following elsewhere...
in the lyrics to their song "Six Months In A Leaky Boat
"Six Months in a Leaky Boat" is a single from New Zealand art rock group Split Enz's album Time and Tide. It was written by Tim Finn and released as a single in 1982....
"Aotearoa/Land of the Long White Cloud" was the name of a song from New Zealand singer Jenny Morris' seminal 1989 album, Shiver
-Charts:-Year-End charts:-Release history:...
The Land of the Long White Cloud "Aotearoa" is a piece composed by Philip Sparke
Philip Sparke is a British composer and musician. He is noted for his concert band and brass band music.- Music for Winds :* 1973/1976 Gaudium* 1975 The Prizewinners for Brass-Band* 1978/1995 Fantasy for Euphonium...
for brass band
A British-style brass band is a musical ensemble comprising a standardised range of brass and percussion instruments. The modern form of the brass band in the United Kingdom dates back to the 19th century, with a vibrant tradition of competition based around local industry and communities...
or wind band.
Aotearoa is an overture written for orchestra by New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn in 1940. The overture is one of three early works by Lilburn which center on the theme of national identity; the other two are 1944's Landfall in Unknown Seas, for narrator and orchestra, and the tone poem A Song...
is an overture composed by Douglas Lilburn
Douglas Gordon Lilburn ONZ FRCM was a New Zealand composer.-Early life:Lilburn was born in Wanganui. He attended Waitaki Boys' High School from 1930 to 1933, before moving to Christchurch to study journalism and music at Canterbury University College...
"Two Aotearoa Sketches for Bassoon and Piano" are two pieces composed by bassoonist Michael Burns.