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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 2 (May 1, 1939)

A New Canoe

A New Canoe.

The railcar would be the new canoe for the young people, but it should serve to remind them of the old canoe Aotearoa that brought the Maoris of old to New Zeaalnd, said Momona Tamihana when speaking for the Maoris at the ceremony at the New Plymouth railway station. His suggestion that the car should have its title extended to the original Aotearoa was later readily agreed to by Mr. G. H. Mackley, General Manager of Railways. When it had been decided to name the railcars after historical canoes as a compliment to the Maori race, Mr. James Cowan, a recognised authority, had explained that Aotea, meaning “clear light,” was the early name of Tahiti, from which Trui set out 600 years ago for Taranaki, said Mr. Mackley. Turi was the principal ancestor of Taranaki natives, and it was therefore appropriate that the railcar should be named after his canoe.