Europeans were the ones who built modern New Zealand, so why so many Maori place names)

Jun 2012
Now to start with my race is not white, so I do not have a stake in this issue personally, and this post is not racist in any way. But I noticed when I went to New Zealand recently the trend over the past few decades to give places with European names such as Mt. Egmont and Mt. Cook, or even the entire country of New Zealand Maori names. This I find odd and perplexing, since there are already ample places in New Zealand with Maori place names like Oamaru, Wanaka, and Te Anau. Not to mention that the Maori did not even have a unified state or the concept of a unified state over New Zealand before the Europeans came, so giving a Maori name for the whole of New Zealand seems pointless and odd, not to mention that the Maori did not have a written language before the Europeans came, and that the Europeans are the ones that built up these modern towns and cities like Dunedin and Invercargill, and also that the Maori already have a lot of places that are named after them for a population that makes up only 13 percent of the country, and the Maori are about to be overtaken in importance and overall population numbers by recent Asian immigrants anyway, so the Maori can almost be regarded as a fading people.
It's about paying some due respect to the indigenous people of the place. I thought that this is something that should have been quite obvious. Whether or not they ever had a unitary state before the arrival of the White settlers should not matter even one iota. It does not negate in any way their history of being the indigenous people.

Was just wondering, BTW, how come it seems to be such a big issue to you. Since it's not even an issue at all even with the White immigrant settlers of New Zealand.

Perhaps it could be because you yourself are an immigrant settler or descendant of one, and you feel that your people have contributed substantially to building up your adopted homeland, just like the European settlers of New Zealand have done, but you for some reasons have a big axe to grind against the natives in your place.

Maybe you are indeed wishing, for reasons best known only to you, that because they're kind of like 'an inferior people' (according to you) compared to your own, so they should just rightly gradually 'fade away', just like you're possibly feeling that the Maori people of New Zealand should just gradually 'fade away'.
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Likes: specul8
Jun 2012
Maori resurgence & empowerment are just at beginning stage. You just look at the All Blacks. It is powered almost totally by indigenous Maori talent, and it has quite consistently been the team to beat on the World rugby stage.

One day, in the not too distant future, a Maori is going to rise to the political pinnacle & become PM of New Zealand. Just like a Black American has already become President of America.


Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
Fantastic people - huge hearts and pride ! I was welcomed, they shared everything, took me places and 'showed off ' their country to me ... you just have to be respectful, friendly and have no thoughts whatsoever of trying to do them over .... that is not a good idea .

Jun 2015
Because there are still Maoris living there.

There are US states, cities, and regions with native American names.

South Africa has a mix of different toponyms. East London and Cape Town sound British. Johannesburg and Bloemfontein sound Dutch (or Afrikaans). Bulawayo is definitely native African. Makes sense, given the country's history, right?

Toponymy reflects settlement patterns over time. It's why in England today, there are Norse names (Derby and Selby) alongside Anglo-Saxon ones (Buxton and Beverley) in Derbyshire and Yorkshire, but in Hertfordshire or Greater London, most placenames are Anglo-Saxon exclusively. Or at least, Tottenham, Enfield, Hertford, Watford, Tring, Bromley, or Southwark, aren't believed to be Norse.
Jun 2015
it could also be convenience. The Aussies killed the Aboriginies, but then there are still many Aboriginal placenames in the country.

If there is a settlement known as Woola-Woola, why change it, even if the indigenous population don't live there any more?

I used to live in the Caribbean for several years, and in the island I lived in the placenames were a mix of British, native American, and Spanish. The town I lived in was called San Fernando (Spanish), but I worked in a city called Port of Spain (British....well British grammar/spelling). it's just how it works. A general rule of toponymy is historical governance and population shifts.
Feb 2018
One of the more absurd cases of retaining European place name concerns Mt. Rainier named after a British naval officer who fought in the American Revolutionary war. Yes, he was wounded fighting Americans. Can anyone give a good reason why the name should not be changed to Tacoma which means "The Mountain" in the native tongue and favored by many Washingtonians?