19 Dec 2019

Star and orbiting planet recieve Te reo Māori names

From Morning Report, 8:49 am on 19 December 2019

Te reo Māori is now in space.

A star and it's orbiting planet have been named after New Zealand's native wood pigeon the kereru, and the karaka plant.

A global competition to come up with names encouraged people to draw on their cultural heritage as well as imagination.

There were 150 entries from New Zealand. Hugh Williams a teacher from Lower Hutt came up with both names but is a joint winner with Jamie Andersen of Nelson who also submitted the name karaka.

Doctor Nick Rattenbury from Auckland University helped lead the naming campaign and is part of the International Astronomical Union.