National | Aotearoa

Te Pāti Māori efforts to restore original name Aotearoa make US late-night TV

Source: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah / YouTube

Efforts by Te Pāti Māori to change New Zealand’s official name to Aotearoa have received a special mention this week on late-night TV in the United States.

South African comedian Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, has enjoyed poking fun at what he describes as the 'lame colonisers' who named the country New Zealand in the first place.

"Some international news, New Zealand may be getting a new name," said Noah, on the talk show popular with young Americans.

"Yes, Māori politicians have launched a campaign to restore one of the country's original names, Aotearoa," he said, to screams of 'woo-hoo' and audience applause.

"I think we can all be honest," he continued. "Like, they didn't put a lot of thought into naming it 'New Zealand' in the first place.

"Yeah, colonisers are so lame: 'This is New Zealand. This is New England. New York.'

"Zero effort," he said, to roars of laughter.

Then referring to reality star Kim Kardashian and actor Pete Davidson's recent relationship split, Noah added the final punchline.

"It's like Pete Davidson calling his new girlfriend 'New Kim', said Noah, to bursts of laughter.

"Terrible, it's not gonna work."

In June, Te Pāti Māori presented a petition to parliament to change the country’s name to Aotearoa that it said had racked up more than 70,000 signatures.