Use of Aotearoa instead of New Zealand

Liz Simons made this Official Information request to Television New Zealand Limited

The request was successful.

From: Liz Simons

Dear Television New Zealand Limited,

Use of Aotearoa instead of New Zealand

I wish to request under the official information act why TNZ is naming shows "Aotearoa", like the Apprentice "Aotearoa" instead of "New Zealand" and what the rational is for this. New Zealand is the legal name of our country no official name change or referendum has taken place to change this.

Aotearoa is actually one of the Māori names for the North Island of New Zealand, and has never included the South Island of New Zealand.

Please provide justification for.

Yours faithfully,

Liz Simons

Link to this

From: Brent McAnulty
Television New Zealand Limited


Attachment image001.jpg
2K Download

Attachment image002.jpg
2K Download


Dear Liz Simons

 

Your email requesting information related to the use of “Aotearoa” by TVNZ
has been received by my office.

 

We will respond to your request within 20 working days.

 

Regards

 

 

Brent McAnulty
General Counsel and Corporate Affairs Director

m. +64 27 226 4913

 

[1]tvnz-horizontal.jpg      [2]1-news.jpg

 

 

References

Visible links

Link to this

From: Brent McAnulty
Television New Zealand Limited

Dear Ms Simons

I refer to your request below regarding TVNZ's use of Aotearoa in the title of The Apprentice Aotearoa.

While Aotearoa was initially used to refer to the North Island of New Zealand, it has been used by both Pakeha and Māori to describe the whole of the country since the late 19th century. For example, Aotearoa is used in the 1878 translation of God Defend New Zealand.

Language changes, evolves and expands over time. So too does society. We use both Aotearoa and New Zealand in our broadcasts - for example The Apprentice Aotearoa or The Bachelorette New Zealand. Utilising the different ways to describe our country and allowing our creators and presenters autonomy over which name they opt for means we deliver a modern and inclusive broadcast for our audiences.

Yours sincerely

Brent McAnulty
General Counsel & Corporate Affairs Director

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Liz Simons

Dear Brent McAnulty,

Follow-up Official Information Act request. I request under the Official Information Act the following additional information:

I don't doubt that modern revisionist Maori language has adopted the new term of "Aotearoa" since the term of New Zealand to expand from its original meaning refer to the whole country in modern Te Reo. To follow up on my request does TVNZ allow the use of "Nu Tireni" which is the original Maori translation for New Zealand (also listed in the earliest use of Te Reo in the United Tribes of New Zealand declaration of independence) by your creators and presenters in program titles to allow autonomy over which name they opt for as a means to deliver a modern and inclusive broadcast for audiences.

Additionally if a referendum was held and name legally changed "New Zealand" to "Aotearoa" would TVNZ still allow your creators and presenters to use the name "New Zealand" in modern title programming to refer to the whole country as part of way to deliver a modern and inclusive broadcast for audiences when presenting in English language.

Lastly your naming conventions do not appear to follow any logical or consistent convention with respect to the context terms are provided in. Be it legal names for things or different language context. Can you please provide your language conventions policy for use on air.

Yours sincerely,

Liz Simons

Link to this

From: Liz Simons

Dear Brent McAnulty,

To clarify I request under the Official Information Act the following:

Does TVNZ allow the use of "Nu Tireni" the original Maori translation for New Zealand in program titles.

If a referendum was held and the legal name of our country changed from "New Zealand" to "Aotearoa" would TVNZ still allow the use of the name "New Zealand" in title programming for audiences when presenting in English language. So that the culture of those who didn't vote for it may still be represented.

Lastly please provide your language conventions policy around Maori and English for use on air use.

Yours sincerely,

Liz Simons

Link to this

From: Brent McAnulty
Television New Zealand Limited

Dear Ms Simons

As we have mentioned in our correspondence below, our creators and presenters are given autonomy over using English and te reo Māori in our programmes. If they wanted to use Nu Tireni to reference to our country I cannot see a reason why they would not be able to do so, same as they could use other references such as "God's own" or "the land of the long white cloud".

The possibility of a referendum to vote on the official name for New Zealand has been discussed in the media. However, given no referendum has been advanced, it would be extremely premature for TVNZ to propose how we would adapt our presentation in theory. Should a referendum of the nature you've suggested happen, we would be happy to share our preparations with you and the public.

We do not have a language conventions policy. We are comfortable with English and te reo Māori being used fluidly as they are both official languages. A flexible approach ensures we can best reflect our audience. It makes sure our presentation evolves in line with our viewers rather than staying stationary, bound to a policy.

Regards

Brent McAnulty
General Counsel & Corporate Affairs Director

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Liz Simons

Dear Brent McAnulty,

Thank you for the response. I know it's not an easy subject and that it takes time for you to prepare official positions. I'm grateful for your time and efforts. I'm sure you can however also appreciate that this change seems to have at all come at once and many find it hurtful and insulting that a name change by stealth or at least the social influencing of one is occuring without general consensus from the population first. In essence one culture is supplanting another with a revisionist term where the majority of the population is of the other cultural persuasion. I like many stand firmly for our heritage and I firmly reject the kind of reinventing of our country to a name that has evolved from a meaning it didn't used to have so that our whole country can be primed for a name change debate.

If we truly want to be forward looking and truely inclusive, - not replacing one culture with another, then why aren't we looking at a completely new name that neither has New Zealand European or New Zealand Maori orgins. Though it could also be argued that New Zealand(Anglicised British version), Nova Zealandia(Dutch), and Nu Tireni (original Maori name and understanding used in the Treaty) is of equal historical value to all cultures.

Renaming conventions typically just show the majority population dominance over the prior culture something that has not occurred in New Zealand. The percentage of Maori has increased but its more the level of self-identification as the majority of New Zealand Maori are also becoming more and more of New Zealand European decent and can equally claim this culture. Naming conventions pose a lot of issues such as those mentioned in this article and typically just relate to the power dynamics:

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsod...

Could you please advise if this recent increase in change of New Zealand to Aotearoa is driven by TVNZ to use as much Te Reo as possible to meet requirements for new funding that is provided by central government. Because I believe the issue of the use of Te Reo Maori is separate from the generalised name change of our country and I believe there are many many more people concerned with this development.

Yours sincerely,

Liz Simons

Link to this

Susan Pockett left an annotation ()

To summarise, this exchange seems to indicate that the NZ government (with the able assistance of their public broadcasting corporation TVNZ) has indeed quietly CHANGED THE NAME OF THE COUNTRY -- initially to "Aotearoa New Zealand", perhaps as a precursor to a further stealthy change to just "Aotearoa" -- without bothering to ask permission from the people who elected them. This is a MAJOR change, which has already been implemented on official documents.

On the face of it, this behaviour would appear to be a deliberate spit-in-the-eye to the whole concept of democracy. If we are not to descend to complete totalitarianism, any such name change surely MUST be the subject of a binding referendum. The old tactic of "easier to ask forgiveness than permission" is simply not acceptable here.

Or have I got something wrong?

Link to this

Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Television New Zealand Limited only: