Read King Charles’ very surprising letter to New Zealand that proves the monarchy has changed forever under his leadership
- King Charles referred to New Zealand as Aotearoa
- Reference came as debate rages on if the country should change name
King Charles III has sent a letter to New Zealand referring to the country as Aotearoa in a first for the British monarch.
Aotearoa is the Māori name for the country, and there have been growing calls for it to become New Zealand’s official name. Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of the country.
King Charles penned the letter to share his condolences with the country after it was battered by deadly floods and record rainfall last week.
At least four people died while thousands of homes have been left damaged after the heavy rain triggered widespread landslides.
King Charles III has sent a letter to New Zealand referring to the country as Aotearoa in a first for the British monarch
At least four people died while thousands of homes have been left damaged after the heavy rain triggered widespread landslides
King Charles opened the letter by addressing New Zealand by its traditional Māori name.
‘It is with the deepest concern that I have been following news of the flooding and severe weather affecting several regions in Aotearoa New Zealand,’ he wrote.
‘My wife and I send our heartfelt sympathy to the families of those who have lost their lives, and our thoughts are with the many others whose lives have been so terribly impacted by events.
‘I have long admired the strength and resourcefulness of New Zealanders, and I send my thoughts and prayers to all those who are supporting response and recovery efforts to help people repair or restore homes, businesses and lives.’
King Charles continued to pay his respects to the Indigenous people of the land by ending the letter with a Māori phrase.
‘Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui. Be strong, be brave, be steadfast,’ he wrote.
New Zealand is one of 15 nations under the Commonwealth with countries like Australia and Canada among them.
Prince Charles use of the Māori language comes after a petition was launched to change the country’s official name to Aotearoa.
Former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said she uses both New Zealand and Aotearoa interchangeably, and hoped the rest of the country would follow her.
‘Whether or not we change it in law I don’t think changes the fact New Zealanders do increasingly refer to Aotearoa, and I think that’s a transition that has been welcomed.’
However a recent poll found the majority of Kiwis want New Zealand’s official name to remain the same.
Kiwis were asked, ‘What do you think the country should officially be called?’.
More than half of the respondents voted to keep the name New Zealand at 58 per cent.
Others opted for Aotearoa to be in the mix at 41 per cent.
Just 9 per cent of people wanted to replace the name New Zealand entirely with Aotearoa.
A further 31 per cent wanted to see a double-barreled name – Aotearoa New Zealand.
King Charles penned the letter to share his condolences with the country after it was battered by deadly floods and record rainfall last week
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk