was there hu­man set­tle­ment in new Zealand be­fore Maori?

NZ Today - - LETTERS -

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,

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