A New Zealand man who launched a petition to include Aotearoa in the official name of our county has caused some controversy online.
Danny Tahau Jobe has requested in his petition that the House of Representatives pass legislation requiring a referendum on whether the official name of New Zealand should change to include the name Aotearoa.
He wrote the reason behind the petition saying:
"Official documents of national identity, birth and citizenship certificates, passports and money-notes have Aotearoa and New Zealand together as the names of the country.
"Only 'New Zealand' has official status. Both names together will officially confirm/enhance nationhood and uniqueness in the world."
Tahau Jobe launched the petition last Tuesday and has only gained just over 1000 signatures so far. However, he claimed the support so far has been encouraging.
"A lot of people do think that we should move forward," Tahau Jobe told Magic Talk.
"This is something that we can all share in and be proud of. It's our identity; it makes us so unique in the world."
Tahau Jobe made a Facebook page to raise awareness of the petition.
A poll on the Facebook page, made by Tahau Jobe, reveals that 49.6 per cent want no change and want our country to remain as New Zealand. 17.7 per cent were happy with it being changed to solely Aotearoa, 13.6 per cent would prefer our country to be called Aotearoa New Zealand and 19.2 per cent are happy with it being interchangeable.
The Facebook post has received controversial comments, including how the referendum requested is similar to the flag change.
"Seriously why bother. Just like the flag issue. It's just a waste of money. The money can be better put to needy family that need medical and shelter," one person argues.
Another wrote: "Seriously what next. Try changing the flag ect and now this. Leave it as it is it hasn't been an issue all these years so just leave it."
One person commented asking why we needed to legally change it, as our country is sometimes called Aotearoa by some people.
"Am I wrong or is it not legally/formally already both, if so what is the point of this. If you are someone who wants to call or print either name on something nothing is stopping you? I might start calling us Islandy McIsland Face," one Kiwi joked.
Another questioned is if the petition was made to cause racial division.
"Are you specifically trying to keep disharmony between the people of this country? Or just hadn't even considered that drawing such a line is destructive? This current Māori vs Settler attitude is a victim-based mindset that keeps us from actually getting on with real issues and challenges as some have mentioned above.
"Keep both names. Respect both aspects of our history. In fact to be truly non discriminatory, we should investigate what Moriori called this place, and if the Waitaha People had a name for this 'country', as they were before Māori."
However, some agreed that a name change is needed.
"Aotearoa New Zealand would make sense, would show how different our country is. Going forward in times," one person wrote.
Another person argued: "Aotearoa. Anyone who rejects colonialism should agree."
"There's no racial thing calling it Aotearoa, to all those making it about that, Aotearoa is the original name, I say Aotearoa how cool would that be, I'd love it very much please/thank you," another person agreed.