Good Morning Minister,

A friend has just given me the following information:

“Dear fellow citizens of New Zealand

“Our country’s name has been changed by stealth.”

“I was searching for New Zealand on a drop-down menu in Germany yesterday (this was to book for a tour of castles in Bavaria) and our country was not listed under ‘N’.  I eventually found our country under ‘A’  for Aotearoa! 

“I don’t remember being told that our country is now known to the world as Aotearoa. This change must have been advised and authorised by the New Zealand embassy in Germany and they would not have done this without instructions from Wellington.

“Somebody in the government has to be held accountable for this outrage.”

As you are Minister of Foreign Affairs, I would appreciate your feedback on this.  

Have our Embassies around the world been told to change the name of our country?  As a citizen of New Zealand and a New Zealander by birth I am entitled to know this.  However, before taking this matter any further, thought I would give you the opportunity to respond.

Kind regards,


Sent to us by a reader — one assumes the original letter contained a screen-shot of the drop-down menu.  The person should put in an OIA request asking what instructions may have been issued to overseas travel websites on the country’s name by Mahuta via her Department.