The indigenous Maori name for New Zealand is Aotearoa, 'the land of the long, white cloud'. The above pic is of Lake Otamangakau on the North Island where my hubby is fishing for the second time this year.
The chap in the boat on the left is his mate, Jim, who appears to be having a snooze but I'm told that he's preparing his gear whilst waiting for the fog to lift and the fish to rise.
I don't understand why they spend thousands of dollars on gear and airfares to catch fish, scare the living daylights out of them and then let them go! But relaxation and getting in touch with nature I certainly understand and releasing the fish I wholeheartedly agree with. Now this is where I could show you the big fish shots but I won't!
A mythological story or historical fiction offers a good picture of how the name was given or something of the ideas which motivated it. In some traditional stories, Aotearoa was the name of the canoe of the explorer Kupe, and he named the land after it. In another version, Kupe's daughter was watching the horizon and called "He ao! He ao!" ("a cloud! a cloud!").
A different story figures that it was actually his wife and not his daughter who called out these words. The story tells that the voyagers of that period were guided by a long white cloud in the course of the day and by a long bright cloud at night. Consequently, after a long voyage, the sign of land to Kupe’s crew was the long cloud hanging over it. The curious cloud caught Kupe’s attention and he said “Surely is a point of land”. His wife called out "He ao! He ao!" ("a cloud! a cloud!"). Afterwards his wife’s words and the cloud which greeted them, Kupe named the land Aotearoa - "long white cloud".The first land sighted was accordingly named Aotea (Cloud), now Great Barrier Island. When a much larger landmass was found beyond Aotea, it was called Aotea-roa (Long Aotea). - Wikipedia