1 Aug 2013

Feedback shows NZ island names should stay the same

7:30 pm on 1 August 2013

Public feedback on the naming of New Zealand's main islands shows people prefer the status quo - the North and South Islands - rather than Maori names.

The Geographical Board has been considering 2608 submissions.

The board has been considering whether to make official the current names for the Islands, or give each island a Maori name.

For the South Island, Te Waipounamu and for the North, Te Ika a Maui.

Otherwise, perhaps adopt both English and Maori names.

Of the submissions, 87% supported retaining the North Island and 88% backed the South Island.

Despite that, the board indicates the numbers were not its main consideration.

It says it has been guided more by the reasons for why people supported or objected to the names.

The board will provide its recommendations to Land Information Minister, Maurice Williamson, who will make the final decision.