THE North Island and South Island may soon have official Maori names if public consultation approves of the idea.
The New Zealand Geographic Board Nga Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa has suggested Te Waipounamu for the South Island and Te Ika-a-Maui for the North.
It would mean either name could be used officially.
Te Waipounamu means the waters of the greenstone, and Te Ika-a-Maui the fish of Marui.
The names were put forward after talks with iwi.
“At that time we noted that the existing English names were recorded names, rather than official names.
“They appeared on LINZ’s maps, charts and other official publications but had never been formalised under the NZGB Act”, board chairman Don Grant told APNZ.
The Maori names had appeared on early government maps of New Zealand, but fell out of favour in the 1950s.
The NZGB agreed the English names should be formalised -and Maori alternative names should be assigned and be formalised at the same time, Dr Grant said.
Since the annoucement a number of alternative proposals have been suggested on Twitter, including:
Cribs and Baches – Toby Manhire (@toby_etc)
Warner Bros’ Original Mordor and Sky City Presents Hobbiton – Toby Manhire
Stewart Island, Upper Stewart Island and Further Upper Stewart Island – Claire Robinson (@Spinprofessor)
For Humans and For Sheep – Alexandra (@aftunnicliffe)
Fred and Trev – Bill Blackstone (@SirWB)
Trev and Trevor – Toby Manhire
Ken and Ken – Jolisa Gracewood (@nzdodo)
Mainland and Pig Island – Paul Le Comte (@five15design)
Pretty and Average – David Slack (@DavidSlack)
Treasure and Fantasy – Raybon Kan (@RaybonKan)
Punching and Our Weight – (Jolisa Gracewood @nzdodo)
Racist and Slightly Less Racist – Jamaine Ross (@jamaine_ross)
Big Ted and Little Ted – Jesse Mulligan (@JesseMulligan)
Truck and Trailer – Jesse Mulligan
Tahi and Rua – Alastair Jamieson (@AlastairJNZ)
Hokey and Pokey – Steve Main (@stevemain)
Ka and Pai – Melissa Peterson (@avaadore14)