Canada New Zealand: The Maori Party requires a change of name of the country
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" This petition calls Parliament to change New Zealand in Aotaroa (Country of the White Cloud in Maori, NDLR)", can we read in anParty published on September 13th. " It is high time that the Te Reo Māori [the Maorie Language, NDLR] finds the place that returns to it as the first official language of this country ," he continues. Since 1987, Maori has been recognized as one of New Zealand's official languages.
A status that is not enough to the party, according to which " is the duty of the crown to do everything it can to restore the status of our language " . " This means that it is necessary to make it accessible in the most important places, in our television, in our radio stations, on our panels, our cards, our advertisements and our education system ". He asked, by 2026, the change of names of places and cities that would find the names prior to British colonization.
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A slow recognition of Maori in New Zealand
The name Aotearoa is increasingly used by New Zealand to qualify their country. Last year, the Labor Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern welcomed, while ensuring that a change of official name was " not something we explored ". To justify its request, the Maori Party relies on the example of riparian countries, such as the Tuvalu and Kiribati Islands, formerly called Ellice Islands and Gilber Islands.
" The proposal has no chance of succeeding, it is not realistic. They are worn by the wave of enthusiasm for everything Maori. Only 3% of New Zealanders speak the Maorie language, "decrypts one of New Zealand's rare French specialists, Francine Tolron, author of the idea of reconciliation in the Commonwealth multicultural societies. " I do not think it will be accepted, there had been two referendums (2015 and 2016, NDLR) to change the country flag ( including the British Union, NDLR ) which do not have Summer accepted ", reminds David Camroux, Australian and honorary researcher at the Ceri of Sciences Po.
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Beyond the change of name, this petition From the Maori party puts on the front of the scene the question of the place reserved for the first inhabitants of New Zealand. According to the, they represent about 16.8% of the population. A larger share than aborigines in Australia (3%) that is related to the history of New Zealand. In 1840, the British sign the Waitangi Treaty, which recognizes the United Kingdom's sovereignty on these Pacific lands. It will, despite controversy, establish an Modus Vivendi between settlers and Aboriginal people. Maorie culture has gradually erased in favor of British culture.
" From the 70s, the Maorie Renaissance has made it possible to tell the story and the legends of this culture. After a culpability time of New Zealand, a real craze became , "Note Francine Tolron. " little by little the Maorie culture has impregnated the society, which is an exception that I oppose Australia ," she continues.
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Dual New Zealand identity
If the Maorie culture is developing gradually, only 20% of Maori speak the language. " Do not have an idyllic vision of Maorie society, there are serious social problems, including Violence ," Tall David Camroux. " Economically, Maori are not very well integrated, unemployment is important and the academic results not terrible ", confirms Francine Tolron.
This name proposal highlights the trail of the former British Dominion between its two identities. " There is a dilemma between integrating people or preserving traditional cultures. Do we want to do a kind of Disneyland Maori for curious tourists? There is a good formula to find , "Note David Camroux, which adds:" is the same dilemma as Australia or Canada who are proud to belong to the Anglo-Saxon cultural world but take into account their specificity. New Zealanders say they are also a people of the South Pacific near the small islands around . "
" The name change will probably not be accepted, but it is the sign that New Zealanders do not want to choose between two cultures, British and Maori, but be the two set ," concludes David Camroux.
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