Monday, April 18, 2011

90 Mile Beach to get additional Maori name

According to TVNZ today, the Maori name for 90 Mile Beach - Te Oneroa a Tohe - in far north Northland is going to be officially added to the existing English name. Naturally, local Maori want it to be the only name.

Both names have problems - first, the beach isn't 90 miles (145 km) long; it is 55 miles (89 km) long, so actually "90 Kilometre Beach" would be fairly accurate.

Second, Te Oneroa a Tohe is a bit of a mouthful, and most people like names to be short and crisp.

Te Rarawa chair Haami Piripi says he disagrees with the argument by some moteliers and tour companies that foreign visitors will find the pronunciation of the name difficult. He told Waatea News that tourism marketing already plays up the connection between the beach and the pathway spirits are believed to travel on their way to Te Rerenga Wairua or Cape Reinga. Certainly tours buses and cars regularly drive all along it. (Andy Beardsley photo)

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