Face of the day

David Rankin

David Rankin

David Rankin is an interesting person to do a google search on.

He has talked about the possibility of Maori not being indigenous in 2012

The status of Maori as the country’s indigenous population could be in danger if research, which suggests previous civilisations lived in New Zealand before Maori arrived, is proved true.

Ngapuhi leader David Rankin said books by authors such as investigative journalist Ian Wishart and historian Noel Hilliam presented “clear evidence” that some of New Zealand’s earliest residents might have arrived before the Polynesians.

He pointed to numerous Maori oral histories which referred to people being here when the first Maori arrived, including fair-skinned people.

“If we believe our histories, then we as Maori are not the indigenous people of New Zealand.”

The archaeological evidence in some research was a potential challenge to the status of Maori as indigenous, which was why he believed no other Maori was prepared to speak publicly on the issue, Mr Rankin said.

Details of much of the country’s past was being concealed by academic historians, he said.

“I would say it’s a conspiracy. They are worried that their own research will be exposed so they have worked hard to ridicule and suppress any Maori history which disagrees with their views.

“However, the tide is turning and more people are now seeing that there is a whole history of our country that has been concealed and which will have major implications for Treaty settlements for example.”


In 2014 he spoke out about abolishing the Maori Seats and also about the problem of Maori child abuse.

Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats.

“These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that we somehow have failed to integrate into modern society.”

Mr Rankin also cites history, pointing out that the seats were only ever meant to be temporary, and that the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform recommended that the seats be abolished if MMP was introduced.

“Maori are already moving in the direction of abolition,” says Mr Rankin. “Less than half of Maori are now on the Maori roll, and the number is falling. And to make matters worse, the turn-out in the Maori electorates is the lowest of all the electorates in the country. “

Mr Rankin describes the continued existence of the Maori electorates as “an embarrassment”, and plans to start circulating the petition within the next three months.



A Ngapuhi leader has sparked controversy by saying that Waitangi Day celebrations should be called off this year and the money saved be invested in curbing Maori child abuse.

“Waitangi Day celebrations around the country will cost the taxpayer over $300,000 this year,” says Ngapuhi’s David Rankin, “and while we celebrate, more of our kids are getting drunk, abused, and killed than ever before in living memory.”

Mr Rankin says that Maori need to shift their priorities in order to protect the next generation. “At present, we are destroying our culture and our future by bringing up a feral class within our society. What is lacking is leadership.”

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira comes in for special attention from Mr Rankin: “Hone travels the world, complains about Pakeha to anyone who will listen, but when it comes to the biggest enemy of Maori: Maori parents, he is silent. I say to Hone, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

Mr Rankin will boycott all official functions this year, despite his ancestor, Hone Heke, being the first chief in the country to sign the Treaty of Waitangi.


He has made headlines on a number of other issues over the years. His latest headline is because of his desire to Ban the Burqa at this years Waitangi day celebrations.

From what I learned about him from google I am impressed by Mr Rankin. He seems to be the kind off guy who is prepared to point out the elephant in the room when others will not.



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  • steve and monique

    He would be 100% correct. Their own history says they migrated( floated) down, and bumped into NZ. Hence not indigenous. As for any one else that was, well like the Moa, they were removed for hungers sake.

  • conwaycaptain

    If less than half of the Maori population are on the Maori Roll and they have the lowest turn out in any election why bother.
    There are now many Maori MPs representing General Electorates or on the List so why have special seats.
    Mahuta would be a goner that’s for sure

  • sheppy

    Any seats where politicians get in due to voter apathy are neither democratic or viable.
    The most obvious of these is the Auckland Mayoralty and all the long term financial troubles we’ve got as a result.
    He’s absolutely right about the threat to Maori culture too and thankfully has spoken out

  • intelligentes candida diva

    “If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem” an old but meaningful saying.
    It is true in the crossover of this micro event with Islamic hints to the macro level of reducing the implementation of Sharia techniques into NZ and particular Maori culture.

    My interpretation from the key points I read is that for Mr Rankin on the burqa issue is he is putting out a solution.
    1 Protect the cultural values of modern Maori without the event losing dignity due to burqa clad people and on Maori
    2 A calling card to Maori to look within for the problems and solutions instead of the continual looking outward to blame and find monetary solutions

    Interesting man alright and a brave lone bright tall poppy…long may he blossom.

  • Peter

    What an exceptionally honest and pragmatic man Mr Rankin appears to be. I would listen with interest to anything more he has to say on the subject. And of course Maori aren’t indigenous; Moriori were here when Maori arrived and they did their level best to wipe them out. Interestingly, Moriori are acknowledged as “the indigenous people of the Chatham Islands”

  • Richard

    Refreshing to hear someone prepared to acknowledge the truth of NZ history, especially as that someone is a high profile Maori.
    I’ve read a bit about the ancient Celts being here before Maori.


    Edit: To add link.

    • InnerCityDweller

      Hush now before caochladh hears you and starts his on claim gravy train

    • pak

      Some very interesting commentary at that link – thanks Richard. Never ceases to amaze me the depth and diversity of information which turns up on this blog!

    • Hugo35

      It is very interesting that the results of the archaeological report (including carbon dating records) on the alleged pre-Maori settlement in the Waipoua Forest were embargoed by the Crown in 1988 for 75 years (not to be released until 2063). I wonder why?

      • Reaper

        As Rankin has pointed out, there is a risk of derailing the gravy train.

        • ex-JAFA

          Yes, they’re hoping to be able to squeeze a few more “full and final” settlements in before then.

      • Chris Chitens

        Hi there. Can you please tell us a bit more about the embargo until 2063? I was recently in hokianga and heard a rumor to that effect. I heard some guy found some pretty crazy artefacts and was silenced/ embargoed by some NZ govt spooks for many many years??any one heard that one?

    • Reaper

      An article in the Northern Advocate from last week has some interesting comments.


  • Sagacious Blonde

    Rankin’s comments on Muslims yesterday in “Ban the burqua” were particularly prescient in this politically correct, culturally sensitive world. They show that the great majority of us are naive fools waiting to be walked over.while we smile and nod.

  • Chief Wiggum

    Alas, when the evidence started to become overwhelming, academia changed the definition of indigenous for New Zealand. You will now find that it does not necessarily mean the “first or from”. It now means that there are no other cultural or societal similarities anywhere in the world. So, boom, the continuity of being indigenous remains. If it doesn’t fit, then you make it fit.

  • oldmanNZ

    The chinese knew about NZ before the Maoris came, the Moaries came from Taiwan, (Taiwanese do not look like chinese, but Taiwan has a lot of early chinese immagrants).

    The Maories got the map to NZ from Chinese. So the theory goes….

  • Bobb

    Everyone but the history revisionists know that Maori are not an indigenous people. They were just here before our forefathers.
    If one wants to know what they were really like before 1700 or thereabouts just look at the mountain tribes of Papua New Guinea. This myth about how they were a complex integrated society destroyed by colonisation is just that…. A myth.

    • johnnymanukau.

      And it is well recorded that the Maoris enjoyed a few Pakeha thigh bones in their Hangis. Tau Henerae recovered a fine featured, long ginger haired shrunken head with other heads repatriated from Europe. Maori still enjoy a good hangi but I wont be volunteering a thigh bone any time soon.

  • Ghost

    He seems to be catching a lot of flack for pointing out the obvious, that Islam is not compatible or inclusive of Maori culture. The early folklore, hierarchy, protocols, weather you follow them or believe in them yourself, would cease to exist. We often hear about the destruction of the language, society when the early European came (and not so early European) but mention the next wave and they suddenly have to be all inclusive and accommodating. No more pork and puha boil ups.

  • Dave

    Frank and right on the money! Mr Rankin raises one point I particularly agree with, Maori leadership, there is none! No one leader who is prepared to say what needs to be said, who is planning and guiding their people, who is prepared to speak out against so many maori issues! As I have asked over and over, where are the real Maori leaders, where? Answer…… Too many others at the Taxpayer troughs drowning them out so they can keep their bellies and pockets full.

    • la la land

      Do you not see him as a leader?

      • ex-JAFA

        Perhaps he’s just a leader in the wrong forum. He could do so much more if he were to enter politics. Certainly not in the uber-racist Mana Movement, but as a reformer in the much more pragmatic Maori Party. (I have no problem with Flavell – I’ve met him several times and he’s a top bloke, but could do with Rankin’s influence.)

        Under Rankin, the Maori Party could stand candidates in General electorates, underlining the obsolescence of the Maori seats, and better represent his people with a more modern and realistic agenda in the House.

      • Dave

        Ex Jafa has outlined it well. Whilst I agree with Rankin, and also a few other prominent Maori such as Pita Sharples, who espouse a more progressive, and learning / non violent culture, they are not standing up and driving change. They might say very sensible things gently, but they are not calling out, naming and shaming and advocating for massive change. That takes a real leader, which as outlined above, is missing. Perhaps Kehua is correct, its a collection of individual tribes, however, this is NZ, one country, one set of rules, and one set of norms.

    • kehua

      You are correct Dave, there seems to be (especially with commenters here ) an assumption that all Maori are part of a `Maori Incorporated`, there is no such outfit. Maori are as diverse as any other race of people, the Tribes are individual in spite of inter-marriage and many individuals relate to more than one Tribe and many others have no idea where their heritage lies save for the Maori face that looks back at them in the mirror. No one person can claim to speak for all Maori just as no New Zealander can claim to speak for all New Zealanders. No individual Maori can be held responsible for the actions of another just as his/her Pakeha contempory cannot be responsible for transgressions or successes by another Pakeha.
      With regard to your last sentence about troughers I suspect like in most things Maori probably come second once again to non-Maori.

      • Dave

        We wi have to disagree again Kehua. There is no collective pakeha spokesperson, actually there is an elected official known as the PM, he is entitled to represent and speak for all NZ’ers. What is missing though is true leadership within someone from Maori as I have indicated before the stats (crime violence, so called poverty, employment, skills, education, housing) all fall in the wrong percentile for Maori co pared to almost any other sector of the kiwi population. This needs fixing within. It cannot be led by the taxpayers if NZ, who also comprise Maori, it’s seen as offensive and heavy handed. Again, Rankins words are refreshing but there is no Maori leadership.

        • Wallace Westland

          Why do Maori need a leader to speak for them? That’s their biggest problem. There is no Scottish leader nor Irish, no one speaking out for the English, the Dutch or the Chinese…
          Maori were doing fine in NZ until Doug Graham started the gravy train rolling and next thing there were flocks of Maori leaders howling about their rights, how down trodden they were and how Pahkeha had to pay.
          Today there are so many bitter Maori that don’t have their wagon hitched to the gravy train but heard a generation tell them how abused they were and how badly off they were so they have believed it.
          In my Dads day when I was kid in the sticks many of his friends, co workers and ex army mates were Maori and my Dad never had time for a bludging whiner in his entire life. They were well of hardworking men before Doug came along and ruined their children.

      • johnnymanukau.

        Me thinks you don’t like the Historical facts Kehua. Read the link right through and Google, Early settlement in NZ . You may find other links as well? an behold, heaps of information being with held from the citizens until the Waitangi settlements are finished and then there is a good chance that Scotland may make claim to NZ.

        • kehua

          Two things I have learned in my time on this planet there is really no such thing as keeping a secret and there is no such thing as keeping a secret in Maoridom. Heaps of Information…….really? heaps of wrecked ancient boats ……really.

      • williamabong

        How dare you people have the audacity to try and derail the gravy train, there are a lot of fine folk of both colours lining their pockets from the bottomless bucket.
        It’s real simple if a person gains an advantage because of their race it’s racism, pure and simple.
        If there is one thing that needs sunlight poured into it it’s this debate, bring it on.

    • Reaper

      They were never a unified race, but rather bunch of warring tribes, so the fact that there is no one leader today is no surprise. Not a lot has changed in that regard.

  • Graeme

    Watch Rankin at “Closeup” on you tube telling about his cousin Hone and who Harawiras grandfather was.

  • Ilovelife

    There is a small amount of evidence to suggest that Spaniards and/or Portuguese were here at some stage in the 16th or 17th centuries. There is no reason to believe some of them didn’t stay. Maori have been in NZ only 800 years or so. They are not indigenous, they are just earlier immigrants than those from Britain. I would love to know more about the Spanish ship buried in sand dunes in the Hokianga. Does anyone know something about it?

    • Reaper

      There are several mentions of Spaniards and Portuguese in this article about early (12th century) Scottish settlers:


      “The west coast of NZ is littered with ancient boat timbers. Those of Spanish or Portuguese caravels, possibly even Phonecian and Egyptian craft and even others. Even helmets, breast plates, and a tamil bell have been found. It appears that these early Scots eventually traded with Portuguese.”

      • Ilovelife

        Thanks for this. It seems a lot of the info re Spanish and Portuguese has been buried, for obvious reasons. A caravel was found up north in sand dunes but has since been reported as reburied by sand and unable to be found. I find this very hard to believe.

      • kehua

        I have read your link, and have to say I have not read so much tripe in all my life, all of this supposed evidence and not a single piece to show. All these mysterious `maori with secrets` guarding the past. What a load of crap from some deluded Scot.

        • williamabong

          Bring on the sunlight, let’s get all the information out there then we will see what a crock of poo the entire treaty BS is.

        • Imogen B

          but there has been evidence found on Mt Tauhara!!
          And there are faeries at the bottom of my garden too.