Saturday, March 24, 2012

Be careful what you wish for, Cameron

Sacha Gervasi's 2008 film Anvil! is a celebration of a heavy metal band which has been struggling for decades to make the big time. The hairy but wrinkled members of Anvil are full of ambition, but almost comically unaware of the sheer awfulness of the music they make. Again and again they are rejected by audiences and panned by critics; again and again they release a new album, and hit the road to promote it.

If the world of scholarship has an equivalent to Anvil, it is surely Noel Hilliam, the retired farmer from Dargaville who has become infamous, over the past quarter century, for making a series of bizarre claims about New Zealand history. Over the years Hilliam has discovered a Viking city in the forests north of Dargaville, Spanish ships in the sandy mouth of Kaipara Harbour, a Nazi submarine filled with gold in the Tasman Sea, and the skeletons of an ancient tribe of giant white people in remote caves. Again and again, Hilliam has failed to produce evidence for his sensational claims, and faced ridicule. Again and again, he has presented gullible journalists with new fantasies.

Back in 2010 Hilliam made a particularly strange and embarrassing claim. After Hilliam rang up its editor, a publication called Dargaville Online ran a story celebrating his receipt of the prestigious Senior New Zealander of the Year award. Investigations by readers of this blog, though, soon revealed that Hilliam had not received the award at all, and Dargaville Online had to run a retraction.

I had hoped that the Senior New Zealander of the Year affair might have dented Noel Hilliam's enthusiasm for fantasy, but his new book To the Ends of the Earth suggests that he is incorrigible. Co-authored by Hilliam's fellow cranks Gary Cook and Maxwell Hill, the book argues that Greeks and Egyptians sailed to New Zealand several thousand years ago, established settlements and raised stone monuments, collected local jade and adorned it with hei tiki and other designs now associated with Maori, and then suddenly retired to the margins of these islands. Historian Paul Moon struck the right note when he told a newspaper reporter that 'there is no evidence at all' for the claims in To the Ends of the Earth.

Noel Hilliam's book may not be popular amongst trained scholars, but it has excited a number of right-wing bloggers. Cameron Slater, for instance, took a break from his campaign against Auckland's wharfies to post a link to an account of the book. Slater predicted that Hilliam's claims 'would bend some Maori out of shape', and said that he couldn't wait 'for the headlines expressing outrage'. Slater and some others on the right are enthusiastic about Hilliam's book because they feel its widespread acceptance would lead to the abrogation of the Treaty of Waitangi and the end of Maori claims for the return of land and other resources. If Maori are deprived of their status as tangata whenua then, the thinking goes, they will cease asking for compensation for stolen land and funding for kohanga reo and other 'separatist' institutions. This comment from the Stuff site is typical:

It is certain that Maori were not the first here and about time everybody knows that. I hope this book gets the coverage it deserves as it will help unite ALL kiwis instead of giving preference to one as though the rest of us are secondary citizens.

Cameron Slater and other right-wingers should be careful what they wish for, though, because Hilliam's tome appears to be built around his relationship with some very strange and rather avaricious people.

Hilliam is a long-time associate of the Universal Peace Nation of Waitaha, a cult whose members claim to be the descendants of extra-terrestrials with psychic powers who landed in ancient Egypt and later travelled to New Zealand via South America and Easter Island. The Waitahans make money off gullible New Agers by selling glossy picture books full of gobbledygook and running tours of their supposed ancient 'sacred sites'.

Last decade, when he worked as a volunteer at Dargaville's maritime museum, Hilliam developed a relationship with Patrick Ruka, a prominent member of the Waitaha cult. After deciding that a carved Maori pou found near Dargaville was an ancient Waitaha artefact, Hilliam got Ruka to perform a 'ceremony' to 'welcome' the object into the museum. The museum eventually repudiated both Hilliam and the Universal Peace Nation of Waitaha.

In Hilliam's new book, a man named George Connelly claims to be a descendant of Egyptian settlers who arrived in this country via Peru. Hilliam presents Connelly's testimony as a sign that some New Zealanders have always maintained an awareness of their connection with the ancient Mediterranean.

What Hilliam doesn't tell his readers is that Connelly, who also uses the name Hori Kupenga Manuka Manuka, has connections with both the Universal Peace Nation of Waitaha and another bizarre outfit, Ko Huiarau. In the 1990s Ko Huiarau attracted hundreds of members, including broadcaster Mary Forbes and Auckland War Memorial ethnologist David Simmons, by claiming to be the modern representative of an ancient government of these islands which had signed treaties with numerous foreign powers, including Britain. Ko Huiarau insisted that when these treaties were recognised it would take control of the whole of New Zealand, and promised to share the wealth of the country with those who joined its ranks. Ko Huiarau has fragmented over the last decade, and now has no clear leadership, but George Connelly continues to promote its ideas. Connelly claims, in fact, to be a direct descendant of the leaders of the ancient Ko Huiarau nation, and thus to be the arbiter of contemporary constitutional issues in New Zealand. Connelly denies the indigenity of King Tuheitia, calling him a 'Tahitian', and accuses Tainui of committing a 'genocide' against his imaginary Waitaha ancestors.

Maxwell Hill lives down the road from Connelly in Taupiri, and has a history of supporting the man's absurd claims. In 2010, for instance, Hill sent a long letter to Waikato's regional council and New Zealand's parliament in which he insisted that Connelly's existence was enough to refute the notion that Maori have any customary rights to this country's seabed and foreshore. Hill's rambling epistle was filled with invocations of Ko Huiarau, and also features a warmed-over version of the myth of Moriori as a pre-Maori people. Last month Hill sent a tangled, often incomprehensible second document to the Waikato council, in which he claimed that the 'research' he did for To the Ends of the Earth proved George Connelly's identity.

There is a certain irony in the way that many right-wingers are publicising Hilliam and Hill's book, and hoping that it might somehow deliver them from the supposedly unreasonable demands of the Treaty of Waitangi. If some of the people behind The Ends of the Earth ever got their way, then the whole of New Zealand might be delivered up to the members of a couple of small and very odd sects.

Footnote: why is Beattie's Book Blog promoting Hilliam's nonsense?

Footnote (2): It is rather comical, but also a little sad, to see the way that the pseudo-historians have once again tried to associate themselves with high-profile Kiwi scholar Paul Moon. In 2009, after the likes of Martin Doutre had persistently nodded in his direction, Moon wrote a letter to the New Zealand Herald to distance himself publically from the Celtic New Zealand thesis.

Now the boosters for Hilliam's peculiar book are trying to brandish Moon's name, circulating a formulaic e mail which Moon directed at one of Hilliam's co-authors, and presenting it as some sort of endorsement.

Over at the Franklin E Local, which seems still to be the house journal of pseudo-history in this country, Michael Botur has been asserting that Moon endorses the theory that Greeks and Egyptians visited these islands thousands of years ago. Botur didn't, of course, bother to contact Moon before making his claim. I'm not sure whether Botur was aware of Moon's 2009 letter savaging the Celtic New Zealand thesis and decided to ignore it, or whether he didn't bother to do the most basic research before writing his article for Franklin E Local.

As usual, the hijinks of the pseudo-historians have backfired. Presumably because of the way his name was being associated with Hilliam's book, Paul Moon was contacted by the mainstream media and asked to comment on the tome. Not surprisingly, he repudiated it in very strong terms, and denied that Hilliam and his co-authors had any credibility as scholars.

I've just exchanged a couple of e mails with Michael Botur, and he continues to assert, in the face of all the evidence, that Paul Moon is a supporter of Hilliam and co's theory that white folks arrived in New Zealand thousands of years ago. Botur seems to regard Moon's very public rejection of Hilliam and co over the past couple of days as a sudden and inexplicable aberration, rather than as the continuation of the position Moon made very clear in his letter to the Herald back in 2009.

I think that, as far as denials of reality go, Botur's blusterings are on a par with Hilliam's easily disproved claim to have won a prestigious award in 2010. Back then the Dargaville Online publication had the good sense to admit that Hilliam had led it up the garden path, but Botur seems determined to stand by his crank. More fool him.

[Posted by Maps/Scott]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

more of a religion this celtic stuff, helps the pakeha who seem obsessed with this stuff, to feel superior again. Funny stuff, refuted at every turn, but to these believers in this tripe, scientific critique and pair revue of their research is unecessary as all scientists that disagree with them are apparently all a part of a world wide conspiracy.

4:35 am  
Anonymous Pdogge said...

Scott, why on BB Blog ? duh...because it is a book and Beattie over time has showwn no fear or favours

6:22 am  
Anonymous Scott said...

Following that logic, Pdogge, Beattie was remiss in not posting plugs for Greg Hallet's Hitler was a British Agent and Kerry Bolton's The Holocaust Myth.

The reality is that Beattie, not to mention papers like the ODT, would never treat those titles with a modocum of seriousness or seriousness. With its bizarre claims about the past and wild allegations of conspiracy, Hilliam's text is on the same epistemological level as Hallet's and Bolton's ravings, but it sneaks through the net because of ignorance about New Zealand history. Pakeha are much more accepting of anti-Maori racism than, say, the sort anti-semitism we find in Bolton.

9:31 am  
Anonymous Edward said...

Brave old Hilliam et al., the underdog researchers who live up to the anti-intellectual and scientifically-illiterate thoughts and feelings of resentful redneck NZ. Nevermind that their thesis changes as swiftly as the tide - yesterday it was Celts, today it's Egyptians (or Greeks), tomorrow it might be the Chinese again. I think they like to be held up as martyrs by their conspirationally-minded fans.

The thing I can't understand is why the NZ media gets away with publishing this crap. Free speech yes, but then why not report on the mad ramblings of every pseudo-scientist who feels the drive to self-publish a book?

12:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:10 pm  

the real crimes of noel and martin doutre are to have open minds...

about the zionist attacks on 9/11 and the new world order as well as 'maori' culture...

for that they can never be forgiven by the paid operatives of the nwo...

1:15 pm  
Anonymous James said...


Anonymous, are you by any chance a moron?

"the real crimes of noel and martin doutre are to have open minds..."

I think you're getting 'open mind' confused with imagination. These guys have been served with actual evidence so many times by archeologists, anthropologists and historians, and they continue to ignore it for fantasies. Much of Doutre's 'evidence' relies on photoshopping a bunch of broken up rocks to look like stonehenge and therefore proof of a pre-Maori Celtic peoples. He may as well photoshop some play doh into a circle and call it proof of some pre-Maori population of 4 year olds.
Seriously, these idiots are...idiots.

1:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:54 pm  
Anonymous Edward said...

Anon. No. Why? And why are you yelling?

Jammer. No, the real crimes of Hilliam are damaging archaeological sites (protected under the Historic Places Act 1993), and not reporting human skeletal remains to police and moving them (a crime covered under the Historic Places Act if the remains are older than 1900, or a crime covered under the Coroner's Act 2006). Even archaeologists have to report human remains, as they could be relevant forensically.

But you probably already knew that, right? ...... (that's the sound of you getting powned).

1:57 pm  
Anonymous James said...

"james r u by any chance a nwopo?"

Maybe. You'd have to tell me what the full acronym means though.

Are you by any chance a ueybfhjbsjhvjhvfffff?

2:03 pm  
Anonymous NWO Jammer said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:05 pm  
Anonymous Jon said...

Michael Botur (a real person or a sock puppet of Hilliam?) claims in that redneck rag Franklin E Local that Paul Moon supports the new book.

But...Moon is quoted at Stuff and TV3 condemning the book.

So...are these guys full of shit or what?

Not only do they talk shit but they try to drag big names into their shitfights.

2:08 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hard to read Maxwell Hill's messages to NZ government agencies without feeling he suffers from a significant mental illness. Certainly they make little sense.

3:10 pm  
Anonymous Jono said...

Just for a larf...

David Bellamy and Paul Moon are Celtic NZ fans, doncha know?

As the Tui ad sez...Yeah right

6:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nwopo = new world order paid operative

8:15 pm  
Anonymous that name sounds familiar... said...

Hello. Did you know that Michael Botur is the name of the person who published a vile cartoon mocking the death of a Pacific island woman in Mangere after her power was cutoff in 2008? The cartoon was published on Kiwiblog and created a wave of disgust. I think Kiwiblog removed it but there was a post at The Standard identifying Botur as the artist. Obviously Botur is a stinking racialist.

10:13 pm  
Anonymous Keri Hulme said...

Goodness! Tread down one head of the diffusionist rubbish and up springs another one!

Only, it's not quite diffusionist -it's far more evil rubbish:bring in the 'Waitaha' cult and a 'Moriori chief'
and pander to white right-wing racists...jeez, no wonder Whale-Oily-baby slathered over the mix.

I am in admiration of the professionals- Maps et al - who continue to post literate & informed & courageous
material refuting these nutters - Noel Hilliam et al.

6:01 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Link to discussion of Michael Botur's cartoon mocking the death of Folole Muliaga in 2008:

'I’m not going to post the cartoon because I don’t want the image on our blog (you can see it here) – it mocks Folole Muliaga, an ill woman who died needlessly. It’s irredeemably uninsightful, unfunny, and offensive.'

Draw your own conclusions about the man.

9:07 pm  
Blogger Country Lane said...

I interviewed Gavin Menzies about his book 1421 a few years ago and in the conversation asked him how he accounted for the Lapita pottery trail that is such an important part of our understanding of the human settlement of this part of the world. he had no idea what i was talking about. I asked that if he was going to write a book about human discovery in the Pacific surely a cursory undertsanding of the current theories was a pre-requisite. His response was - not to respond.

3:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are stealing Maori traditions taking them out of context and using them for their own agenda and to make themselves feel like this country belongs to them, that is no different from what you do with this blog. like when you claimed Rua Kenana was inspired by excalibur legends because something he said reminds YOU of Excalibur. Iirc when challenged for cultural appropriation your response was to say a Tongan man once admired ancient Greece and C19 Maori liberation movements like pai marire usedChristianity against their colonizers, so there was no such thing as cultural appropriation. It is easy to "call out" obvious redneck racism like this but the racism that realy matters is much more pervasive. I read one of the other blog post you linked to which apparently made you very proud of your anti racist credentials which consisted of 138 comments of you and another white academic ganging up on a Maori woman misunderstanding her points, using your academic qualifications to put her in her place and using her own culture as a weapon against her, good for you, pat yourself on the back for not being a member of the nazi party but you are on stolen land just like them and you are part of the same problem.

4:04 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

Anon, I didn't point to a similarity between a couple of stories about Rua Kenana and Te Kooti and the Excalibur legend - Judith Binney did. If you think she's a racist appropriator of Maori history, then take it up with Tuhoe and the Ringatu church, which are the sources for most of her claims in Redemption Songs and Mihaia.

Is your last comment referring to the argument on this blog some time ago about whether we should take the stories of miracles and angels in books like Redemption Songs literally? I don't remember the details of that argument, but I do recall that the harshest critic of the woman who was insisting that we are racists if we don't literally believe Te Kooti performed miracles, flew on a white horse, and so on was herself a Maori by the name of Keri Hulme.

I made a comment about your sort of attitude a while ago on the Workers Party website, where someone had said that non-Maori have no right to discuss historical events involving Maori in any detail:

Have you heard of folks like Te Rangi Hiroa, Apirana Ngata, Ranginui Walker, Pat Hohepa, Evan Poata-Smith? Maori scholars have been intervening in debates about the history of these islands for one hundred and fifty years. The views which I’m arguing are informed by their scholarship, as well as by the ideas of non-Maori, some of whom – old Karl Marx, for instance – never even set foot in New Zealand. Are you saying than Te Rangi Hiroa et al are ‘irrelevant’? Or are you only going to consider the work of brown scholars? How would that work in practice, since people like Te Rangi Hiroa cite, in their texts, a range of authors, some of them brown and some of them white? And did you check with the scores of Maori doing postgraduate or academic or independent scholarly research into their past before you decided to speak for them? Are you going to police their work, and strike out the footnotes that refer to white scholars?

The truth is that it’s completely impossible to study the history of Pakeha without studying the story of Maori, and vice versa. The two pasts are hopelessly intertwined, despite what redneck Pakeha and bourgeois Maori nationalists might suggest.

In Tonga, where the locals have never felt the pressure which comes from colonisation, it’s perfectly normal, and indeed expected, for scholars to bring European and Tongan subjects and themes together. Tonga’s first university, the ‘Atenisi Institute, taught Greek and Latin alongside Tongan culture and language. In New Zealand bourgeois Maori leaders like Donna Awatere in the 1980s and Tariana Turia today have tried to put up walls between Maori and Pakeha subjects, and derided both scholars and activists who have crossed these barriers. Hence Tariana recently attacked Hone and the Mana Party for talking about ‘Pakeha’ concerns like union rights. But the truth is that unions are the concern of both Maori and Pakeha workers – and the history of New Zealand is the concern of Maori and Pakeha alike.

8:17 pm  
Anonymous Keri Hulme said...

Ka nui te pai e Scott tautoko-

9:05 pm  
Blogger Liz said...

Scott Dargaville Museum removed the informative signage referring to the Pou as being from the Waitaha. The Pou no longer has any such claims attached to it where the Museum goes any way. Dargaville and District News published an article about the book and balanced it with Professor Moon's comments that there was no archaeological evidence. A week or two later a letter from Mr Hilliam was published in which he launches a scathing attack on Professor Moon. mentions of a conspiracy were included. Sound familiar? Mr Hilliam attemtpted to discredit Professor Moon. He also claimed there was a tiki found in Yugoslavia. Considering New Zealand was full of Yugoslavian Gumdiggers? Wouldn't it be logical that some gumdigger from Yugoslavia might have obtained a tiki as a keepsake and then it was lost? I'll say it now where the claims of Ancient Greeks and Egyptians coming to NZ goes. Yeah...right.

1:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:31 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:47 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Michael Botur is a would-be writer and he has recently tried to publish in Brief. When these issues were raised and Scott (the present editor of Brief) asked for some kind of public debate etc his answer was to threaten a physical attack and shut down communications.

Yet he strives to be literary person and has some kind of degree in Creative Writing. I suspect he is not well.

His cartoon is strange, apparently he did a lot at the time and it might be seen as if he was satirizing the power companies for their callousness etc - but looking at the cartoon it is ambiguous (the lady who died looks like a caricature of an "Islander", although perhaps...) as is his story "Islanders". It seems he is confused at best and at worst "racist".

I emailed him to clarify thinking (after all it maybe he is employing "black humour legitimately) but he failed to respond. He has actually been published in quite a few literary mags and often MC's at Poetry Live which is at the Thirsty Dog on K'Road in Auckland on Tuesday nights. Whether he is there every week I don't know. Certainly a puzzling case.

If he believes that Greeks colonized NZ before Maori etc and their skulls have since been crushed and used for fertilizer then...well...what can I say!!

I hope he can box better than he can reason!!

I used to read a lot at Poetry Live and might drop in some time again to buffet the ears of those who might listen to my poetic magic...

I don't think that Maori or Polynesians will be keen to know his views.

I remember being keen myself on Thor Heyerdahl and liking his books as a teenager but that didn't interfere with my views of history etc Geoff Irwin (of Auck Uni) was a great lecturer on the subject of how Polynesians discovered and colonized the Pacific Islands over a period of about 40,000 years. Earlier there was Sir Peter Buck's book (and others). I recall that John Herbert who had strong links to the history of Poetry Live was also interested in Lapita culture as he was in the Anthro society.

Doutre and Hilliam et al are usually quite simple people. The question is whether they are dangerous as they are often linked to Nazi groups.

7:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These people are beyond belief.

4:05 pm  
Blogger Liz said...

3 News last night did an item on this issue. They show some footage of a stone which was then painted??? I would think anything to do with any historically important site was protected under the current laws. An artifact help up and claimed that it was something else. It looked like most of the carvings found done by Maori so who are they kidding. And wouldn't Herodotus have mentioned this so called 'Greek' landing? in his histories? So it's still yeah...right. Tell us another one.

9:32 am  
Anonymous Scott said...

Hi Liz, just when you thought things couldn't get any nuttier, somebody made this comment at the TV3 site, in defence of Hilliam's crackpot theory:

It is not by accident that the hominoid inhabitants of the 12th Planet look and dress like Greek Gods, the Gods of Mount Olympus, as they are one and the same. Mythological stories about thunderbolts being thrown and travel through the clouds were based on the technological feats of these visitors from the 12th Planet, who had mastered the modern day equivalent of lasers. To the primitive humans, who came barely to the waists of the strapping, handsome giants, they were gods. The Greek Gods are reported to be jealous and wrathful on the one hand, and kindly and mentoring on the other - a bit like people. Of course, they were no gods, any more than the humans of today, but their very human exploits are still reported with awe Humans were, at the time, evolving from the cave man stage, with only an occasional genius born in the purely human strains. During the evolution of any species, intelligence is gradually increased due to genetic selection, the smarter individuals passing on their genetics due to their ability to evade danger and manipulate circumstances around them. Ancient Egyptian gods, ancient Babylonian gods, the Vizigoths of Germany, ancient Mayan and Incan gods, are almost to a one particular individuals from the 12th Planet royalty, stationed on Earth to supervise mining operations. Stories about ancient rebels, notable for their stature and courage in battle, are also frequently based in part on the heritage from these visitors, as the rebel most often carried some genetics from the rape of a female slave who managed somehow to escape and bear her oversized infant alive. The legacy today is genetically disbursed throughout the mid-eastern countries, Germanic countries, and the south seas, and is identifiable in those humans who simultaneously possess a large stature, a fierce temper, and strong musculature. Rather than being considered gods, they are often considered criminals.

11:06 am  
Anonymous Edward said...

That crazy comment is amazing!

11:39 am  
Anonymous Aly said...

How infuriating it is to see someone slammed for sharing their research... I didnt realise that only university scholars are taken seriously. Has anyone looked into their claims? Just because the majority of our society refuses to even consider the possibility of pre-Maori Europeans doesn't make it less of a possibility. I'd love to know why, in the mid 1980's, pre-Maori stone structures in the Waipoua Forest were subject to a 3yr survey by the Forest Service (now DOC) costing the country $500,000 and the findings are protected by a 75year governmental embargo. But I guess thats not true either....

1:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope it's not true Aly. There are three reports on Waipoua you can read.But of course you're not interested in that are you? Only in whinging about conspiracy theories.

12:40 pm  
Anonymous Aly said...

And actually i am interested to know the FULL story "Anonymous" so where can I find the three reports on Waipoua?

4:40 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Author: Taylor, Michael.
Title: Waipoua Archaeological Project stages II and III : management and research undertaken during 1985-87 / Michael Taylor and Annetta Sutton.
Variant Title(s): Waipoua Archaeological Project.
Published: Auckland [N.Z.] : Dept. of Conservation, [1988]
Description: 70, [110] p. (1 folded) : ill., facsims., maps ; 30 cm.
LC Subject Heading(s): Excavations (Archaeology) New Zealand Waipoua State Forest.
Maori (New Zealand people) Antiquities.
Waipoua State Forest (N.Z.) Antiquities.
Other Author(s): Sutton, Annetta.
New Zealand. Dept. of Conservation.
Waipoua Archaeological Project.
Location: GENERAL LIBRARY New Zealand & Pacific Level G
Call Number: 995.1201 T24
Status: Available

Author: Taylor, Michael.
Title: Waipoua State Forest 13 archaeological project : stage one report submitted at the completion of archaeological contract no. 13 / Michael Taylor, Annetta Sutton ; with a section on traditional Maori history by Ned Nathan.
Published: [Auckland, N.Z.] : N.Z.F.S. Auckland Conservancy, 1985.
Description: 35 leaves, [76] p. : ill., geneal. tables, plans, maps ; 30 cm.
LC Subject Heading(s): Historic sites New Zealand Northland.
Waipoua State Forest (N.Z.) Antiquities.
Other Author(s): Sutton, Annetta.
New Zealand Forest Service. Auckland Conservancy.
Notes: Ask at the Special Collections Desk
Call Number: 995 U58 1985/20
Status: Available
Author: Taylor, Michael.
Title: Report on the proposed historic and traditional (archaeological) reserve in Waipoua State Forest 13 / Michael Taylor.
Published: 1986.
Description: [6], 42 leaves (1 folded) : ill., map ; 30 cm.
LC Subject Heading(s): Excavations (Archaeology) New Zealand Waipoua State Forest.
Maori (New Zealand people) Antiquities.
Waipoua State Forest (N.Z.) Antiquities.
Other Author(s): New Zealand Forest Service. Auckland Conservancy.
Waipoua Archaeological Project.
Notes: Ask at the Special Collections Desk
Call Number: 995 U58 1986/24
Status: Available

9:18 am  
Anonymous Aly said...

Thanks for that I'll track those down. Re:whinging about conspiracies... With the subject popping up in the media on such a regular basis, stirring new 'interest'- wouldn't it be worthwhile having an even representation of both 'sides'? Doing a general online search on the topic brings up celticnz, kilts, kaimai veiw etc. Its no wonder people have questions. But the idea is out there now and there really isn’t any reason why this particular topic can’t be verified as true/false (whichever it may be) without all the name calling, smart-arse comments, slander and racism. I want to know the truth either way. I’m not interested in Hilliam’s “antics” but I'm afraid a lot of people (myself included) are not going to be satisfied with being told by an anonymous blogger what is real and what is fake. Who has the capacity to handle this properly? Can disregard the hype from both sides? Who can provide (current, public, genuine) processes, information and conclusions? Because reading through these comments shows someone like me- practically a bystander, that neither side can be trusted with this anymore.

10:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For anyone with the most basic knowledge of history - not just NZ history, European history too - this stuff is patently absurd, Aly.

We don't even need to bring in the NZ connection. We know for sure that the Celts and Greeks couldn't have reached these shores, or anywhere near them, because their aquatechnology was so basic. They couldn't even get far beyond the coast. And we know the ancient Egyptians weren't Celts. And so on.
If you look at the people behind these claims you'll see that without exception they are involved in some sort of scam or that they hold irrational all-encompassing theories. Doutre, for instance, is a neo-nazi who denies the Holocaust and says 9/11 was the work of Jews. Gary Cooke is a New Age nut who claims to be member of the Knights Templar.

Those who want to argue for these absurd beliefs about NZ prehistory tend to slide very quickly into grand conspiracy theories, just to cover their backsides. Doutre's supporters, for example, claim that Jews and Romans conspired, thousands of years ago, to obscure the true achievements of the Celts in aquatechnology - this is their way of justifying the pathetic gap between what the historical record tells us about Celts' marine achievements and the epic journeys they claim the Celts made to NZ and similar places. And Doutre claims that an ongoing conspiracy is responsible for the fact that we don't find any Celtic artefacts here in NZ, and for the fact that DNA tests both inside and outside NZ find that there is no ancient European genetic trace in Maori.
That sort of nuttiness is impervious to reason.

So the answer is that trained archaeologists and historians will never take these people seriously, any more than astrophysicists will take UFO nuts seriously or biologists will take Creationists seriously. There isn't any intellectual 'controversy' here, any more than there's a controversy over whether evolution exists or whether the earth is billions of years old. Alas, we can't stop some folks from believing things which have no intellectual basis.

7:41 pm  
Anonymous NZAA said...

From the NZA rchaeological Association's guide to alternative 'archaeology':

What evidence for earlier occupation might look like if it was to be convincing:

Firstly New Zealand is remote, and set in a stormy cool ocean. It can only be reached by accomplished sailors. This means settlement is only likely by a civilisation with a material maritime history.

Related to this we should not expect a variety of different people to have reached here. It would be a past human feat enough to find one more besides Maori, let alone more than one.

Archaeologically we would expect that New Zealand was the end of a pattern of settlement. For instance Maori settlement of New Zealand was part of an archaeologically now well known expansion across the Pacific, traceable archaeologically to eastern Indonesia. Analogues of the New Zealand Archaic version of Maori culture are found widely distributed in Eastern Polynesia at dates broadly consistent with the New Zealand manifestation. Again British colonisation of New Zealand, while much of it was by direct voyages from Britain, was part of a pattern of colonisation in South Africa, Australia, India, eastern Asia and North America. These colonies were staging posts in some cases and all traded between themselves. Hence we should expect to see a pattern of settlement which ends in New Zealand, not which has New Zealand as some isolated exception.

We would expect to see the ordinary stuff of life. Occupation sites will occur with evidence of houses, discarded waste, and tools. The built and made things would form a distinctive culture complex, with some key forms of everyday tools and structures traceable back to the place of origin.

For people who had ceramics in their place of origin we would expect to find remains of imported ceramics here and expect the settlers to have continued making pottery. Many of the people claimed to have been here before Maori made and used ceramics in their places of origin. Sherds from ceramics are very often distinctive, are durable and imported wares are often found in the pioneer sites when a place is settled. New Zealand has suitable clays and no shortage of firewood for continuing making ceramics. Archaeologist pick up potsherds routinely, even in New Zealand where Maori made no pots. Archaeological reconnaissances in places where pots were made routinely find many potsherds before the intact sites are found. The presence or absence of distinctive ceramics is a powerful test.

There would be a pattern of sites which made sense in terms of the transport and economy of the settlers. The artefacts would be of types repeated in like sites. Successful settlement would result in a population being established. People dying usually leave some trace in the myriad forms of burial practiced by people.

The sites would be datable by means such as carbon dating to a time before Maori.

8:44 pm  
Anonymous NZAA said...


We might expect to see some monumental or religious sites if these were part of the culture carried here, but they will not be alone. They would be part of a broader pattern of sites.

We would expect to see the settlers had some effect on the environment. The birds here in particular are vulnerable. Some land would be cleared for agriculture. New Zealand forest is not adapted to frequent fire sources. The drier eastern and drought prone areas of New Zealand were vulnerable to more frequent fires when people arrived. Signs of clearance and fire would be apparent in pollen cores from lakes and swamps.

We would expect earlier settlers to have come into contact with Maori when they arrived. Polynesians were not slow to adopt things that were advantageous to them. Any people that reached New Zealand ahead of Maori were not backward. They would have had some things worth adopting by a succeeding culture. If no adoptions can be demonstrated, there would need to be a convincing rationalisation as to why aspects of this pre-Maori settlement failed to leave any trace in Maori culture.

How can you tell alternative archaeology from the more respectable sort?
There are some intrinsic and some contextual things.
The context is often self-published works or websites not connected to mainstream organisations.
The intrinsic features list is longer. Not all will grace every theory
They are often presented in the manner of being sensational new discoveries when the detail is using a lot of old material.
Fieldwork looking at sites is not often a feature. Excavation even rarer.
Use of secondary sources abounds.
Rarely have the proponents any qualifications in archaeology or anthropology.
Sources are often poorly documented.
The assembly of facts is often eclectic.
Rarely is there any grass-roots contribution, only some grand overview.
The actual theory is often somewhat obscure especially at the detailed end.
There is little in the way of a comprehensive view of how the society they are proposing existed, rather somewhat obsessive concentration on a few features.
Astronomical observatories, pyramids, canals, alignments and roadways are often educed.
The theories often roam beyond New Zealand presenting odd snippets from all over as somehow significant.
There is often a "new age" element. Mysterious revelations from elders of great spirituality and learning can often be found as the basis of the new truth.
Sadly there is often a racist element in New Zealand originated theories. Resentment by non-Maori at settlement of Waitangi Tribunal claims often surfaces, with the view that history as now revealed demonstrates they are unjustified. It often appears minimally as doubting the capacity of mere Polynesians to have carried out some feat.
Conspiracy theories are often built into them. The "of course academics have to support the conventional view - their jobs and research funding depend on it" stuff. Not surprisingly this argument very often appears from alternative theorists in fields other than archaeology. Often Maori are supposed to have some special influence over what is allowed in the conventional views. As someone said "the complete lack of evidence is the surest sign that the conspiracy is working."
Of course their archaeology is often execrable. Not easy for someone inexperienced to detect this, but look at the location maps, are they accurate as to locations and the spelling of the names used?, do the plans of sites have scales and north points?, are any artefacts located as to where they came from, so the illustrations include scales or dimension and do any carbon dates referenced have error figures and laboratory numbers and are the origins of the samples well documented?
Nothing much changes. Go to a library and read Tregear's The Aryan Maori 1885. The scholarship then was a little better than most offerings today.

8:47 pm  
Anonymous NZAA said...

Again from NZAA

How can you tell alternative archaeology from the more respectable sort?

There are some intrinsic and some contextual things.
The context is often self-published works or websites not connected to mainstream organisations.
The intrinsic features list is longer. Not all will grace every theory
They are often presented in the manner of being sensational new discoveries when the detail is using a lot of old material.
Fieldwork looking at sites is not often a feature. Excavation even rarer.
Use of secondary sources abounds.
Rarely have the proponents any qualifications in archaeology or anthropology.
Sources are often poorly documented.
The assembly of facts is often eclectic.
Rarely is there any grass-roots contribution, only some grand overview.
The actual theory is often somewhat obscure especially at the detailed end.
There is little in the way of a comprehensive view of how the society they are proposing existed, rather somewhat obsessive concentration on a few features.
Astronomical observatories, pyramids, canals, alignments and roadways are often educed. The dating and functional discrepancies between features considered as evidence of cultural links is usually ignored
The age of the evidence they present is often little considered. Where ages are known glaring discrepancies are often ignored as if all non-recent dates are sufficient support.
Appeals to the distribution of plants and animals at the time of first written records are often made, without any consideration of what is often a known history of these plants or animals.
The theories often roam beyond New Zealand presenting odd snippets from all over as somehow significant.
There is often a "new age" element. Mysterious revelations from elders of great spirituality and learning can often be found as the basis of the new truth...

8:55 pm  
Anonymous J said...

Ppl like Aly seem to think science is a democracy, and that scientists have to get approval from non-scientists before their findings are legitimate. They don't. Scientists answer to their peers and to their data, not to commenters on the internet. The public is welcome to learn about science and follow its progress - but scientists aren't obliged to spoon fed the public.

9:54 pm  
Anonymous Aly said...

All I'm saying is that if people/archaeologists/whoever can provide information (as one anonymous has) that can help others to understand this 'situation'...wouldn't that be easier and more productive than continually saying "I'm a clever archaeologist so trust me its not true". I completely agree that scientists do not have to "get approval from non-scientists before their findings are legitimate". But if we knew about these 'findings' there wouldn't be an issue and these 'patently absurd' claims wouldn't get the time of day.

4:29 pm  
Anonymous Aly said...

Before anyone else goes to the trouble of tracking down the reports listed above... they are not quite on topic. Mostly about the effects of logging on the sites at Waipoua. Not a great deal about the sites themselves.

7:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny how skeptics forget that the stories of a preceding race of people come from Maori themselves. Many acknowledge it without fear.

Now let us look at the fact that there are un Maori like things in NZ, which the Maori attribute to tall ones, ngati hotu, patupaiarehe, ngati korako and many other names. The Maori claim to have learned a select few things from these 'fairies', such as weaving flax. It should also be noted that the Maori did not believe in a fairy as the European do. The word fairy was used by early translaters of the stories and should more be thought of as a spiritual being as such, rather than the image most would think of in a fairy. That is how the Maori looked upon these people.

The race card can't be played here to silence the argument. The stories come from Maori.

It is not for me to say whether the authors are loopy, I do not personally know them, nor have I read the book. I think they are just trying to put a story to what is by no means overwhelming evidence, but it is sufficient to warrant inquiry in my opinion. Perhaps what they are discovering is the real evidence, but really they are just making up the story.

To say with certainty they were celtic etc is wrong. Fair skin does suggest European origin but it may also link to S. America, which would give some light to how kumara and other plants mysteriously island jumped into the pacific in very early times

Egyptians were pretty advanced and known to regularly visit the indonesia area for gold and other ores. I'll post a link when I'm home of the pitcairn island petroglyphs which were deciphered from an ancient greek perspective. Pitcairn is very far into the pacific and almost in the middle really.

Maori deserve their place in New Zealand history, they were here for a long time. I am not trying to discredit that. It should not be considered racist to be interested or intrigued by something.

2:19 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I congratulate Noel and his fellow wankers on a fine book--quality comparable to that other great fantasy work by Doutre. It is a shame genuine facts are so twisted. How many times professionals experianced and idependant of officialdom have examined the so called 'stone wall' off the Napier-Taupo road and have declared it to be a natural feature and yet the wankers still persist in saying pre Maori inhabitants built it.
However wankers are usefull for they are so determined to 'hit the news' they do bring to a wider public the fact that anomalies do exist with some areas of New Zealand history and these need to be looked at. I have personally seen in Northland a burial so old that it practcally crumbled to
pieces. The sea was eroding a bank exposing the skeleton which was buried with knees drawn up to chest and the worn skull apeared European one at a glance before it was place in the flax kit the elder carried for internment elsewhere. The rate of the sea eroding the bank was very slow in this particular area due to a rocky shelf protecting the coastline. A safe burial would have occurred several hundred years ago--at least. The police present all agrreed it was a very old skelton-probable a male of less than 4'6" feet in height but with very heavy short thigh bones.

7:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

many millennium after the written word was invented of those Fords (I think Henry Ford II) wrote the first true words ever written....''History is Bunk.''
think it applies here to all parties concerned.

9:34 am  
Anonymous brettio said...

and just to prove it I think I misquoted therefore proving the theory....he said
''History is more or less Bunk''

9:40 am  
Anonymous brettio said...

''History is more or less bunk. It's tradition. We don't want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker's dam is the history we made today.''
Henry Ford I. therefore doubly proving the maxim...ı am a tinker misquoting history twice in one day....damn.
On the one side we have protagonists who want ''any colour as long as it is black'' and the other preferring all
white leather upholstery and accessories and automatic belief in their transmissions....oh dear stop it brettio. what does kerri think?

9:53 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that name sounds familiar... said...
"Hello. Did you know that Michael Botur is the name of the person who published a vile cartoon mocking the death of a Pacific island woman in Mangere after her power was cutoff in 2008?..."

Are you realy that slow that you cant figure it out that the cartoonist was trashing the electricity company for their neglegence rather than the woman herself??? Plus i think some of you might be getting Micheal Botur and Martin Doutre confused?

11:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In New Zealand waters there are not only wrecks of historical interest but also 'Treasure' ships. They are:
General Grant - Full rigged ship of 1103 tons built in 1864.
It sank on 14 May 1886 at the Auckland Islands with a cargo of gold. Although this vessel is protected by the HPT, it is being treated as a commercial salvage not as an archaeological site. Several searches for this wreck have been conducted but the wreck remains unfound.
Tasmania - Steel - screw steamer of 1265 tons built in 1892. It sank on 29 July 1897 off Mahia. A passenger on this ship was a jeweller named Isadore Jonah Rothschild. As part of his luggage, he carried a suit-case full of jewels, which went to the bottom of the ocean with the ship. This case was recovered by Kelly Tarlton in 1975 (Tarlton, 1977).
Elingamite - Steel - screw steamship of 1675 tons built in 1887. It sank on 9 November 1902 with a cargo of gold and silver coins, half of which have been recovered.
Niagara - Steel - screw steamer of 7582 tons built in 1913. She sank on 19 June 1940 off Bream Head after striking an enemy mine. She was carrying a cargo of gold bars. All but five gold bars were recovered shortly after the incident. Those five bars are still in the wreck.
More important than these 'treasure' ships are the wrecks of historical significance. For example, there is the possibility of there being a 15th-century Portuguese or Spanish galleon off the north-west coast of the North island. If the wreck is proved to be a 15th-century galleon, then this may change New Zealand's history as we know it today.

This is proof enough that it is quite possible for Noel Hilliam to have found a ship load of treasure albeit he then was unable to relocate it.

Not to mention the fact that if the spanish galleon is 15th century it is possible (if not probable imho) that there were visitors to new zealand prior to Maori arrivals.

12:39 am  
Anonymous said...

of interest in the book 'To the ends of the earth' is the re-dedication and restoration to it's original name the Uenuke'to Manuka by George Connelly, prior to it's display in Te Papa. The Uenuku is a copy of a Celtic "Augers wand"; a hand held object which the Auger casts to the 4 directions, North, east west south, [winds? hence the 4 wavy strands on the top, which the original had not.] He then opens the door [stargate?] between heaven and earth and gives out his vision. The truth is often stranger than fiction. Pontius Pilate of biblical fame, is/was a Scottish trained Auger [seer]. The Rainbow, to some cultures, is the sama as the Milky Way, to others. It is considerd to be the bridge between heaven and earth which we pass over to get to the 'Other Side?' to continue the Journey of life. [After Death?]

9:03 pm  
Anonymous said...

oops. it's; or if interested. My name is John.

9:08 pm  
Anonymous Rice Craig said...

Attention: Scott Hamilton,

Please uplift a private and confidential letter from Rice Craig, Barristers & Solicitors, by providing your personal email address care of
Thank you,

4:50 pm  
Anonymous Venus said...

I just saw a documentary, Coast, about the history of the U.K. A submerged shipbuilding yard, pre- celtic, 5000bce, submerged under 100 ft of water , one of the largest ever discovered.....stop calling each other names, and arguing semantics. All of our blood is red. The intuitive nature of humans, where has it gone? I mean unless we were there, how do we really know? Humans and our sensitivities are too easily offended. I would prefer open truthful dialogue.

9:54 am  
Anonymous Doh said...

'unless we were there, how do we really know?'

Through science. Ever heard of dendrology, pollen analysis, stratigraphic analysis, DNA testing...

None of us was around 100,000 years ago: should we abandon the theory of evolution? None of us was around thirteen billion years ago: is the Big Bang nonsense?

11:04 am  
Anonymous Jason said...

If it was anyone here it would be the ancestors of the guanche. Here's why;
- Their description fits Maori folk tales with attributes like fair or light brown skin, blue/green eyes and blonde brown and red hair.
- They have a Stone Age culture.
- They erect basic stone circles and place stone markers in alignment with a particular viewpoint of the sunset, in one location the sun is seen to set twice behind a mountain peak then reappearing before setting. Similar stuff to this has been found in New Zealand, and interpreted wrongly, I believe. I have seen apparent markers myself, but I'm not here to say I'm an authority on that.
- the Canary Islands, the Guanches home, lie at the beginning of very powerful ocean currents. Columbus took advantage of this current, setting off from the Canary Islands and discovering the Americas. Whoever delivered the original Guanches would have eventually, or immediately sailed onwards purposely or accidentally, especially if their craft were primitive. The currents and winds would take them. This is a possible explanation as
to why the guanche stopped sailing and lost the art of navigation.

These powerful currents exist like a conveyer through the pacific from South America to New Zealand too. Not to mention the winds. It really is a testiment to the Polynesians that they sailed in the way they did. They would have made much easier progress from the other direction.

So, I say, if maori traditions are true, there were people here. That is my hypothesis.

2:25 am  
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11:16 pm  
Blogger Maario said...

We are!! We have the Treaty Taonga of the Native Chiefs and Tribes.

The Indengious Tribes; Tamariki and Mokopuna are waiting for us to come together.

He Wakaputanga O Te Rangatiratanga O Nu Tireni 1835

Tino Rangatiratanga!

Tino Rangatiratanga!

Tino Rangatiratanga!

Tino Rangatiratanga!

I hold the Registry of Waikato -Tainui. Paimarire!

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3:19 pm  

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