‘Aoteaora’ identifier used to mark Maori Language Week
Vodafone New Zealand has angered a portion of its subscribers by changing its carrier identifier to ‘Vodafone Aotearoa’ to mark the end of the Maori language week according to Stuff NZ.
Aotearoa refers to the Maori name for New Zealand and means “Land of the Long White Cloud”. The name has become politically sensitive as Maori nationalist groups are demanding the country be renamed ‘Aotearoa’ as ‘New Zealand’ has colonial connotations.
However, Vodafone responded in a tweet saying that the name change “is just to simply celebrate one of the three beautiful official languages we have her in New Zealand/Aotearoa”.
Hi There Danny, our recent network name change to VF Aotearoa is just to simply to celebrate one of the three beautiful official languages we have here in New Zealand/Aotearoa. There are no plans to change it at this stage, Take Care ^CL
— Vodafone New Zealand (@vodafoneNZ) September 26, 2020
Spark rushed to support Vodafone NZ saying “we here at Spark also celebrate Maori Language Week and have a dedicated app to help people learn”.
Another network, 2degfrees, said it would not welcome the unhappy subscribers as it too celebrated the Maori language.
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