In a World Exclusive, Broken News has learned that New Zealand will officially change its name to New and Improved Zealand.

Cabinet documents from New Zealand’s interior ministry, leaked exclusively to Broken News, reveal that the sovereign nation will apply to the United Nations for the official name change later in the year.

MAPS OF NEW AND IMPROVED ZEALAND HAVE BEGUN UPDATING

It’s understood that decreased tourism numbers are behind the change, which was suggested to the NZ Prime Minister by an advertising executive at a secret briefing.

While no government officials would speak on the record, several insiders have told Broken News that NZ’s Cabinet has discussed the matter at length for the past fortnight, and a vote will go before Parliament next week.

“After that it’s just a matter of visiting the UN and fill in the forms to change the name by deed poll, just like anyone else changing their name,” a source told Broken News.  “Countries do this all the time.  Burma became Myanmar, Siam is now Thailand, and Kampuchea is Cambodia.  Once upon a time, Zimbabwe was called Rhodesia.”

In those cases, there were historic or colonial reasons for the official name change, in this case, it is a bid to improve tourist trade.

“For a long time New Zealand has been thought of as an idle backwater.  People know they can come here to ski, or watch the All Blacks, but that’s about it,” said Ad Executive Russell Zambros, when told about the change by Broken News.  “I think this is a great idea and will put New and Improved Zealand right on the map.”

It’s understood that the decision making process is so advanced, that orders have already been placed for new government stationery, and national airline carrier Air New Zealand has already begun repainting its aeroplanes.

AIR NEW ZEALAND’S FANCY NEW LOOK

The airline is believed to have spent $1.7million on the design of its new corporate logo (above).  Broken News has obtained a copy of the design which was chosen by airline executives from a range of fourteen alternatives.  Staff uniforms, frequent flyer documentation and check in counters will be repainted and redesigned to reflect the change.

Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, says that although she had no official confirmation of the name-change, that Australia is happy to co-operate with its neighbour, regardless of what it was called.

International Atlas publishers are also pleased with the news, as thousands of copies of new atlases will need to be produced and shipped to schools throughout the world.  A Broken News search of New and Improved Zealand using Google Maps was yet to return any results, but insiders at the search engine revealed privately that they have been working on updating mapping software.

UPDATE: Following BrokenNews.com.au’s exclusive report, The New Zealand Prime Minister has announced a press conference for 1.15pm NZT.  BrokenNews.com.au will cover the press conference live.