WELLINGTON(AFP):

New Zealand’s two main islands have never been formally named due to a clerical oversight lasting 200 years despite being universally known as the North and South Islands, officials said Thursday. The New Zealand Geographic Board said the names had appeared on maps since European settlement began in the early 1800s but had never been formally recognised. After public consultations, the board is now proposing two names each for the islands, one in English and one in the indigenous Maori language.