Aotearoa is the most widely known and accepted Māori name for New Zealand.
It is used by both Māori and non-Māori, and is becoming increasingly widespread in the bilingual names of national organizations.
The original derivation of Aotearoa is not known for certain. The common translation is “the land of the long white cloud”.
In some traditional stories, Aotearoa was the name of the canoe of the explorer Kupe (10th century Polynesian discoverer of New Zealand) and he named the land after it. Kupe’s wife (in some versions, his daughter) was watching the horizon and called “He ao! He ao!” (“a cloud! a cloud!”).