Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Changing our name

Submitted to Parliament this week: the Petition of Anton Michael Hyman,

That the House recognise "Aotearoa" as a name of this country (New Zealand), and declare and record this.
It will be interesting to see what the Government Administration Committee makes of it. This is a matter of fundamental national identity, which has changed significantly in the last two generations. For old people, any change is unthinkable; for the young, "Aotearoa" is as much our name as "New Zealand", a recognition of this place's unique Maori heritage which deserves recognition. A petition signed by only 1,200 people isn't any mandate for change - but its a start, and nothing is stopping the committee from seeking public submissions to get a wider picture. They should. This is an issue which deserves proper consideration, rather than the usual "no matters to bring to the attention of the House" dismissal. And we should all be able to have a say in it.