Abel Tasman

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.

Read more »

A funeral for a tree?

Seriously…they are…the weirdo tree hugging loons of Buller…going to hold a funeral for a tree:

Buller conservationists plan to hold a wake for a 500-year-old kahikatea tree that was felled by the Department of Conservation so it could extend a nearby tramping hut.

DoC is adamant the tree had to go to keep trampers staying at the Mokihinui Forks Hut safe.

However, Westport conservationist Peter Lusk is horrified, and says the tree had stood firm for centuries.

“It was here when Abel Tasman sailed past,” Mr Lusk said today.  Read more »

I can hear the outrage building now

Stuff.co.nz

A new book is seriously going to bend some Maori out of shape. I can;t wait for the headlines expressing outrage over this book.

I wonder if the Egyptians had any kaitiakitanga?

Captain James Cook and Abel Tasman could lose their place in history as the first Europeans to reach New Zealand.

A controversial book, To the End of the Earth, claims to contain evidence that Greeks, Spanish and Egyptians settled in New Zealand long before the Maori people.

The 378-page book, to be released this weekend, was co-authored by researchers Maxwell C Hill, Gary Cook and Noel Hilliam.

It shows ancient maps drawn before the birth of Christ, which the authors said detail the coastlines of Australia and New Zealand.

Skeletons, rock carvings, stone buildings and monuments all attest to people of European origin living in New Zealand for centuries before the arrival of Polynesians, they said.

The artefacts include a rock carving of an ancient Greek ship found in Taupo, a stone pillar with an accurate coastal map of New Zealand showing Lake Taupo in its pre-232AD eruption shape, and carvings on rocks at Raglan.

Hill said a huge boulder weighing several tonnes, deeply cut into a huge circular star calendar and marked with what were believed to be figures and rebuses, was the most stunning find.

He said there was also evidence that showed Maui was not the legendary Maori god-explorer, but an actual Egyptian naval navigator, who steered a flotilla of Greek ships to discover new shores, Hill said.

The book quotes Professor Barry Fell, of Harvard University in the US, who interpreted graffiti drawn on limestone in caves at McCluer Bay, on the coast of Indonesia.

Hill said Fell’s find names Maui as a navigator from the Red Sea under the flag of Ptolemy III in 232BC.

A cave inscription near Santiago, Chile also shows the Maori god-explorer was an Egyptian navigator, saying the point was “the southern limit of the coast reached by Maui,” Hill said.