New Zealand News: Islands Have No Names

April 22, 2009
Abel Tasman: A place with an official name.

Abel Tasman: A place with an official name.

Saw this in the news today:

“Experts searching for alternative Maori names for New Zealand’s two main islands were startled to find that their commonly used English names — North Island and South Island — were never made legal, officials said Tuesday.”

How awesome is that? New Zealand is a completely modern country. They have indoor plumbing, McDonald’s, wi-fi and Oprah. And yet, they just now realized that no one ever quite got around to naming their islands in any official way.

This is the same country that, according to my tour guide at the Beehive (the capitol building in Wellington), used a sawed off pool cue for one of the government’s traditional ceremonies all through the 1920s, just because it was handy, and they hadn’t gotten around to getting an official rod made.


If you’re looking for a low-key, relaxing, no-pressure sort of place to travel over your student holidays, New Zealand is for you. Talk to the equally low-key travel experts at Travel CUTS to get hooked up.


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