Baby name app sparks outrage after claiming this popular Māori name is Australian

Publish Date
Wednesday, 17 April 2019, 1:55PM

First Australia tried to steal Phar Lap from us along with other things such as the pavlova, actor Russell Crowe, the lamington, Crowded House and even our very own popular singer Lorde.

Now, an app is trying to claim that Australians are the originators of the Māori name Aroha.

The mobile app Baby Names, created by Schatzisoft, is designed to help parents come up with name ideas for their newborns.

However, one prospective parent on Reddit shared a photo of a list of names — with Australia labelled as the origin for the name Aroha.

When the Herald looked further into the app, it revealed that the meaning behind the "Australian" name is love.

The social media post headlined "Seriously?" sparked fury with Kiwis, who have had enough of Aussies claiming Kiwi things as their own.

"First it's the horse, then the pavlova, then our musicians, now it's our names," one person wrote.

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Another joked saying: "NZ origin: Australia."

"I knew an Aussie girl who was named Aroha but insisted it was pronounced "arrow-wa". I refused to call her by her name," one commenter shared.

An Australian admitted they have never heard of any of the names of the list ever.

One person blamed other countries for the mistake.

"It's every other country in the world being too dumb to know the difference between the two countries," they wrote.

Māori Affairs expert Moehau Hodges-Tai has confirmed to the Herald that the word is definitely te reo Māori.

"It's definitely a word amongst Māori and the Pacific Islands," he said.

 

This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.