was there human settlement in new Zealand before Maori?
Your review of Gordon McLauchlan's book on New Zealand history makes comment that according to his research there is no definitive proof of human settlement here before the 12th or 13th century. So, ergo, therefore there was none.
It is the story I was taught at school, and as a schoolteacher I continued to pass this message along, to my shame. In fact there is a huge amount of evidence of earlier civilisation in New Zealand, much of which is under a Government embargo of information which is considered too sensitive for us to know about.
One of these sites is massive in the Waipoua Forest, and the results of a Government sponsored archeological investigation here is not allowed to be seen by us until 2063. And in the meantime it has been planted with pine trees which are destroying the structures. After 2063, who will know or care?
It seems there are more than 100 sites around NZ which we are not allowed to know about.
The recent discovery of the Mahuika crater off the east coast of Stewart Island appears to have been made by an enormous meteor strike about 1443AD. The ensuing tsunami caused beach sand to be deposited 220 metres above sea level on the Island, and also managed to put deposits 130 metres above sea level on Australia's east coast.
In other words, it was one of the world's largest events and would have almost certainly obliterated any sign of coastal life up New Zealand's east coast and perhaps more. And life would have been mostly coastal. We have seen graphic images recently of the destruction caused by much lesser events overseas.
It is time that serious public investigation is pursued into our real history and the voluminous evidence assessed by qualified people without a government sponsored agenda.
Wallace McNair, Hamilton. I refer to a letter written to the Northern Advocate in Whangarei which queries our current understanding of the history of human settlement in New Zealand. It references 11 rows of stones spaced evenly, running parallel in the Waipoua Forest, north of Dargaville. Nearby are bodies buried lying down and some have long blonde hair, some are very tall. The say that this is a Celtic site. Stones were carted there from elsewhere as there are no stones like them in the area where the rows are situated. This is believed to be prior to Maori.
There ruins were the scene of intensive government sponsored investigations during the 1970s. The findings were filed in the national archives with written instructions that they not be released until the year 2063.
I am sure most New Zealanders would like to know more about these issues.
Also near Waimate North, Kerikeri there is a large pyramid in a farmer's paddock which is covered with grass and vegetation. I am sure New Zealanders would want to know its history also. Sally, Northland Ed. Thank you Sally and Wallace for raising this debate following my review in Issue 51 of Gordon McLauchlan’s book. I have to be honest that I had not personally heard about these claims before and it would be remiss if I didn’t contact an expert in New Zealand history for his or her response. Straight therefore to my alma mater, Victoria University went I and here is the response: I know of no serious claims, in the large amount of literature on pre-Maori New Zealand written by experts from various professions, of human habitation during that period. These experts have mostly researched and written quite independently from government, and have drawn their conclusions from all the evidence to hand. Moreover, I know of no government-embargoed evidence that contradicts the broad academic consensus on these issues. There is a very vigorous scholarly debate on the history of this country, and it is not remotely tenable that our scholars would individually or collectively acquiesce in ‘a government sponsored agenda' to suppress research findings – not that there is any evidence of such an agenda either. Professor Richard Hill, Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies, Victoria University of Wellington
The ancient Waipoua Forest Stone City,