What is in a name? With the news that the North Island and the South Island may not be the names of two of our islands, people are all stirred up. Twitter got into the action, bestowing new names on our is-lands The North Island – Te Ika-a-Maui – and the South Island – Te Waipounamu.
Then I remembered some delicious old maps that reveal names of old. This 1838 map shows a transliterated version – South Island as Tavaipoenammo and the North Island as Eaheinomauwe.
Once we showed Irish roots with the names New Ulster (North Island) and New Munster (South Island) (Stewart Island as New Leinster), 1844.
Te Waipounamu (the South Island) was once dubbed Middle Island.
See at left the Sketch of Middle Island (New Zealand) shewing the East Coast as laid down by Captn. Stokes 1850.
See also 1880 and 1904 examples of the South Island as Middle Island.
For more map goodness, check out our digitised collection of maps.
It is a real pity that we dropped New Ulster, New Munster and New Leinster as names for or islands. The Maoris have their names; what about the Caucasian population or do we despise our heritage.