Aotearoa

1981 GX. Discovered 1981 Apr. 2 by A. C. Gilmore and P. M. Kilmartin at Lake Tekapo.

Usually taken to be the Maori name for New Zealand, although originally it referred only to the North Island. Commonly accepted to mean 'Land of the Long White Cloud', it is attributed to Hine-te-aparangi, wife of the legendary Maori navigator, Kupe. She is said to have called out 'He, ao' ('A Cloud!') on sighting land when first arriving in the vicinity of the country, and Kupe used this declaration in naming the new land. The name is therefore particularly appropriate for this minor planet, the first to be discovered from New Zealand. (M 18305)

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