The Government is to change its position on Myanmar and return to calling it Burma.

The Asian nation was known as Burma until 1989 when the military government changed it to Myanmar.

The Government has accepted a recommendation from Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully to use Burma. Mr McCully said the change signalled that New Zealand refused to recognise the legitimacy of the military regime.

The Government's position allows for the use of Myanmar where the country is recognised as such, including at the United Nations.