- (chiefly New Zealand) New Zealand.
From Maori Aotearoa (“long white cloud; North Island; New Zealand”), possibly from ao (“cloud, daytime, world”) + tea (“white”) + roa (“long, tall”); often translated as "the land of the long white cloud". Assuming this, is probably a reference to the appearance of mountainous land when seen on the horizon from a canoe after an ocean voyage. Originally was in reference to the North Island only. The first recorded mention of Aotearoa as a name for New Zealand as a whole was in 1898 in The Long White Cloud Ao-tea-roa by William Pember Reeves.
Original name known by the indigenous Polynesian population as Te Ika Nui A Maui or Te Ika-a-Māui, The great fish of Maui , from te (“the”) + ika (“fish”) + nui (“big, great, large”) + a (“of”) + Māui (“a Polynesian demigod”);