What’s the matter media, can’t you say Maori?

Look at these headlines and articles from yesterday:

Fairfax headline

Fairfax headline

NZ Herald headline

NZ Herald headline

Both articles then explain the situation. First up the NZ Herald:

Even small human populations can wipe out big animal species, according to local researchers who suggest moa extinction was rapid.

Researchers from the University of Canterbury and University of Otago contributed to the new findings, which appeared in the journal Nature Communications.

Professor Richard Holdaway from Canterbury and Otago’s Chris Jacomb said early Polynesians who caused moa extinction in little more than a century had amongst the lowest human population densities on record.

They found that during the peak period of moa hunting, there were fewer than 1500 Polynesian settlers in New Zealand, or about 1 person per 100 square km. New Zealand’s population density today is 17 per square km.

The researchers started with the latest estimate for a founding population of about 400 people, including 170-230 women. They then applied population growth rates in the range achieved by past and present populations and modelled the human population size through the moa hunter period and beyond.

Prof Holdaway and Mr Jacomb said when moa and seals were still available, the better diet likely fuelled higher population growth.

But the moa’s total extinction most probably occurred within a decade either side of 1425. This was barely a century after East Polynesians settled the earliest well-dated site, at Wairau Bar near Blenheim.

Can’t say Maori? Surely it was them…they are “indigenous”…first settlers…here first…surely?

There certainly weren’t any European “settlers” then.

Fairfax isn’t much better;

A small population of early New Zealanders drove moa to extinction within 150 years.

Research published yesterday in Nature Communications estimated the human population could have reached about 2500 by the time moa went extinct but by then native bird would have been a “rare luxury”.

The results incorporated two separate studies, funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Marsden Fund and led by Palaecol Research Ltd’s Professor Richard Holdaway and University of Otago’s Chris Jacomb.

The research aimed to “bookend” the period of moa hunting by estimating when people started eating moa and when there were no moa left to eat.

Holdaway said it had often been suggested that humans could not have caused the extinction of megafauna like mammoths, giant sloths and giant marsupials because the human populations when the extinctions occurred were too small.

The rapid loss of moa, giant eagle, giant geese and seals alongside a low-density human population in New Zealand showed that population size could no longer be used as an argument against human-caused extinctions elsewhere, he said.

Moa eggshell pieces excavated from archaeological sites in the eastern South Island provided evidence for when moa was first on the menu. Radiocarbon dates of 93 eggshell pieces – genetically identified to be sure they came from moa – were all dated after Mt Tarawera erupted about 1314AD.

At the other end of the time frame, radiocarbon dates from 270 moa bones collected outside of archaeological sites estimated dates for when moa became locally extinct. In the eastern lowlands of the South Island, moa were gone by the end of the 14th century.

The researchers said that indicated the species was locally extinct within 70 or 80 years of the first evidence for moa being eaten by humans.

Across the rest of the South Island, it appeared the flightless birds hung on for about another 20 years.

Looks like Fairfax can’t say Maori either. What is it with “people”, “humans”, early New Zealanders”?

Using “early New Zealanders is particularly?stupid especially when you consider that Abel Tasman didn’t rock up to these moa-less shores some 200 years after that moa bone was picked clean by Maori.

This is just political correct nonsense that they can’t say Maori.

The more accurate headlines would have been “Scientists sure Maori killed off moa” and “Study shows moa killed of by Maori”.


– NZ Herald, Fairfax