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not set
Type Country
Pronounced Pron. OW-TEH-AH-RAW-AH(Māori, New Zealand English)  [key]

Meaning & History

While the original intended meaning of the name is not entirely clear, it is commonly translated as "Long White Cloud" today. It is not known whether it is intended to be made of the words ao ("cloud; dawn; daytime; world"), tea ("white; clear; bright"), and roa ("long; tall"), or Aotea (one of the canoes on which the original Māori arrived to New Zealand in) and roa ("long; tall"). Another story is that it originates from when Kupe the Navigator's wife, Hine te Apārangi first sighted signs of land, yelling out 'He ao! He ao! He ao tea roa!'. A long white cloud can indicate that there is land nearby.

Regardless, the term appears to have originally been used to refer to the North Island of New Zealand, before gradually evolving into a term to refer to New Zealand as a whole, though some still use it as a word for just the North Island. There is currently a movement in New Zealand to have Aotearoa replace New Zealand as the country's name.
Added 11/11/2023 by forestdweller69