Wellington Body Shop store addresses 'NZ, not Aotearoa' billboard, says 'we are not responsible for it'

  • 16/11/2021

Cosmetics company The Body Shop says a controversial 'NZ, not Aotearoa' billboard appearing to be attached to one of its Wellington stores isn't theirs. 

The Body Shop shared a photo of the Hobson's Pledge billboard, which has apparently upset some locals, on Facebook. Hobson's Pledge earlier this year launched a petition pushing for 'Aotearoa' to be removed from official use until a binding referendum is held. 

In the Facebook post, The Body Shop confirmed the billboard isn't on their land.

"We have had a few comments from people upset about the billboard which looks as though it is attached to our building. This billboard is actually on our neighbour's land, not our building, and so what appears on it is completely out of our control."

The chain said it wanted to let people know the billboard wasn't their responsibility.

"We definitely don't support the message portrayed at the moment and want to assure people that we are not responsible for it."

New Zealand's name has become a divisive issue. Earlier this year, the Māori Party launched a petition calling for 'Aotearoa' to officially replace New Zealand. 

But a TVNZ-Colmar Brunton poll in September found 58 percent of people wanted to keep the name as New Zealand, 31 percent wanted 'Aotearoa New Zealand' and just 9 percent wanted New Zealand dropped completely for Aotearoa.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters labelled the Māori Party's position "left-wing radical bulldust".