New Zealand's main islands get long overdue names

2013-10-10 13:59

Wellington — Eight hundred years after indigenous Maori first arrived in New Zealand and 370 years after Europeans spied its shores, the South Pacific nation's major land masses will finally get official names.

For generations, the two main islands have been called the North Island and the South Island. They've also appeared that way on maps and charts. But in recent years, officials discovered an oversight: The islands had never been formally assigned the monikers.

On Thursday, New Zealand's Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson announced the North Island and South Island names would become official, effective next week. He also gave equal status to the alternate Maori names: Te Ika-a-Maui (the fish of Maui) for the North and Te Waipounamu (the waters of greenstone) for the South.

Read more on:    adventure  |  travel  |  travel international

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