Conflict & Justice

Geo answer

From Russia we head to a Pacific island nation... for today's Geo Quiz. The country we want you to name is formed mostly by two BIG islands in the south-western Pacific.

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Captain James Cook -- the British adventurer -- explored the islands in the 18th century.

James CookJames Cook

But the British certainly weren't the first to live there. The first settlers of were Eastern Polynesians.

Their descendants are known today as Maoris. They've suffered discrimination throughout the nation's history.

But for the past century or so -- this country's Maoris have had their own RUGBY team.

Maori rugby teamMaori rugby team

That team is at the center of a controversy in South Africa. We'll hear what that's all about here...

We were looking for a nation with two big islands in the south-western Pacific Ocean.

The answer is New Zealand.

Rugby is a big deal there -- and some of the country's best rugby players are members of the Maori indigenous group.

A team representing New Zealand -- and made up entirely of Maoris -- has sparked a controversy in South Africa.

The Maori team was scheduled to play South Africa's national rugby team -- the Springboks -- during a tour in June.

But South African rugby officials said no -- they have a rule against playing teams formed on the basis of race.

It's a post-apartheid regulation meant to outlaw all-white teams.

Colin Peacock of Radio New Zealand says it's an ironic development.

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