If you’re old enough you’ll remember that kiwifruit were once Chinese gooseberries and tamarillos were tree tomatoes.
Now there’s been another name change – possums have become paihamu:
Once referred to as Australian Brushtail possum, the industry is returning to the Maori word Paihamu to avoid confusion with the American possum (which is a different species, looks different and lacks the silky and warm fur quality).
Call them what you will, they’re still a pest in forests and on farms.
They compete with native birds for food, eat young growth of trees , destroying forests, and sometimes dine on birds’ eggs and chicks. They also carry tuberculosis which is a danger to beef and dairy cattle and deer.
But their fur is wonderful, and mixed with merino makes clothes which look good, feel better and are very good at keeping winter chills at bay.