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Book controversy erupts with claims that the Greeks were here before Maori

Book controversy erupts with claims that the Greeks were here before Maori


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(TV3 News) AUT history professor Dr Paul Moon has described new books questioning the Maori people’s status as the original New Zealanders as “poisonous” and “reckless speculation dressed up as scholarship”.

To The Ends of the Earth, by  Noel Hilliam, argues that Greeks and Egyptians settled New Zealand 2000 years ago, and that Maui was a Greek explorer.

The Great Divide, by Investigate magazine’s Ian Wishart, argues that not only were there pre-Maori civilisations in New Zealand, but that academics have deliberately misrepresented the country’s ancient past.

“This is, of course, preposterous,” says Dr Moon, who himself has published several books on New Zealand history.

Dr Moon says in the past academics have generally ignored books like these, but they can no longer afford to.

The reason why these books are so poisonous”, he says, “is that their theories are starting to enter the bloodstream of the popular historical imagination and are beginning to circulate with greater force.”

The authors “doggedly follow any stray scent if they suspect it will support their argument, and yet they have turned their backs on a vast amount of available research which contradicts their theories”, says Dr Moon.

TangataWhenua.com: To keep things in perspective we found the following on the Reading the Maps Blog:

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.

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’.

(32) Comments

  1. Tamati Ihaka

    Ngai Tahu even admit there were people here before them. lol For Ngai Tahu, conquest had never been a preferred means of claiming territory. During the early period of occupying and settling the South Island, besides deliberately marrying into the earliest resident tribes such as Waitaha, Ngai Tahu also learned the traditions and customs of these tribes. Among Maori the real basis to any claim on the land was genealogy – the blood ties that go back through the generations. It had been Waitaha who, in tribal traditions, imposed their genealogy on the land.

  2. Tom

    Several years ago I left a comment on one a Celtic New Zealand website about some spiral carvings. (which is a recurring generic shape in many cultures) I posted about the oldest known stone carvings of the type where actually Maltese, a fact, and the Celts must have come from Malta first. Absoluletly tongue in cheek of course. Now Mediterraineans in New zealand is a Book! Sorry for the double post, just fixing some grammar.

    1. tom

      Ancient Minoan is inside every Polynesian language. The achaka can be and was first done in GREEK... kimate means sleeping IN GREEK..DEAD IN WHAKAWHITI. VARKA IS BOAT, Greeks had an awe inspiring influence on the lands of poly nesia (lots of islands), all this twisted things to really deflect the real truth,WHAKAWHITI COMES STRAIGHT FROM THE ANCIENT GREEK MINOAN..HAERE MAI = HAERE TAI IN GREEK ....ANYWAY ID BE MORE PROUD BEING GREEK THAN PAKIA (WHITE FAT ON THE MEAT)to be discarded..SIXTH GENERATION OF HELLENES ARE THE MAORI..EVIDENCE SHOULD NOT BE DISTORTED...KAPO O PANGO IETAN GATA POU HOUROU ...OK

  3. Tom

    Several years ago I left a comment on one of those Celtic New Zealand websites about some spiral carvings. (which is a recurring generic shape in many cultures) And that the oldest known stone carvings of the type where actually Maltese, a fact, and the Celts must have from Malta first. Absoluletly tongue in cheek of course. Now Mediterraineans in New zealand is a Book!

  4. Pingback: New Zealand controversy: Greeks claim they were in NZ before Maori « Intercultural Resources

  5. atihana m Johns

    Here we go again and this time the Greeks. Only racist rightwingers believe that they were here first. After watching a fascist Greek MP on TV assaulting two women, I hardly think the predecessors of such people ever had the nouse to get here or anywhere else first.

    1. tom

      Ancient Minoan is inside every Polynesian language. The achaka can be and was first done in GREEK… kimate means sleeping IN GREEK..DEAD IN WHAKAWHITI. VARKA IS BOAT, Greeks had an awe inspiring influence on the lands of poly nesia (lots of islands), all this twisted things to really deflect the real truth,WHAKAWHITI COMES STRAIGHT FROM THE ANCIENT GREEK MINOAN..HAERE MAI = HAERE TAI IN GREEK ….ANYWAY ID BE MORE PROUD BEING GREEK THAN PAKIA (WHITE FAT ON THE MEAT)to be discarded..SIXTH GENERATION OF HELLENES ARE THE MAORI..EVIDENCE SHOULD NOT BE DISTORTED…KAPO O PANGO IETAN GATA POU HOUROU …OK

  6. George

    Actually I think I am going to write some papers on how Maori travelled the world teching people how to fish, If you use compartive implementology that is, there are Hinaki type traps (plus many more implements, but I can't tell you what because the government will try to hide them to discredit theory), traditional to groups all over the world, including Western Europe. Must have been Maori influence to get something so similar.

    1. tom

      Ancient Minoan is inside every Polynesian language. The achaka can be and was first done in GREEK… kimate means sleeping IN GREEK..DEAD IN WHAKAWHITI. VARKA IS BOAT, Greeks had an awe inspiring influence on the lands of poly nesia (lots of islands), all this twisted things to really deflect the real truth,WHAKAWHITI COMES STRAIGHT FROM THE ANCIENT GREEK MINOAN..HAERE MAI = HAERE TAI IN GREEK ….ANYWAY ID BE MORE PROUD BEING GREEK THAN PAKIA (WHITE FAT ON THE MEAT)to be discarded..SIXTH GENERATION OF HELLENES ARE THE MAORI..EVIDENCE SHOULD NOT BE DISTORTED…KAPO O PANGO IETAN GATA POU HOUROU …OK

  7. George

    So where the Celts, Giants and Greeks all here together, living Happy harmonious lives until the Polynesians turned up? Maybe we can blame them for introducing Kiore, Kuri and eating all the moa, (I geuss giants have big appetites), and burning forest.

  8. Raps

    Why anybody gives this man the time of day Ill never know....Hes always seeking attention....Why doesn't he research his Pakeha history instead of trying to tell Maori people theirs.....

    1. tom

      WHAT IS YOUR SYMOLS FOR SPEACH....? DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING OTHER THAN ROMAN TEXT,MEDITERRANEAN ??? HAH ..WELL I WOULDNT BE SO PROUD AS WHAT YOU ARE HAVING JUST MODERN DAY SYMBOLS OF LETTERS..WELL CAN YOU TELL ME SOME FOOL..

  9. Rosina Hauiti

    Good on Paul, but I dont think Hillam deserves space anywhere. As for Slater - does anyone really care what he says?

  10. Boulder City

    Get a life, we came here, we are staying here..if you dont like it move on.... if you dont have the same gene bank/ blood running through your veins as I then NO we are not the same.... if your ancestors arrived on tall ships does not make us the same....inter marriage, well thats a different scenario again Manawhenua

    1. tom

      SPEAK A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE THAT YOU ON YOUR OWN MANAGED MAYBE.....BUT WHEN YOU SPEAK A LOW CLASS GREEK..WELL ?? TANE BE INVENTIVE AND YOU WOULDNT HAVE THE ISSUES YOU ARE HAVING...NZ IS MY FENU AI..NOT JUST YOURS.. GROW UP AND GROW THE OTHER HALF OF YOUR BRAIN..

  11. GNS

    So my tupuna Maui studied with the greeks and then circumnavigated the world. I for one am happy that the greatness of Maui is being recognised as it doesn't change the FACT that Maui is still my tupuna and that I am 'ethnic Maori'.

  12. ellipsis

    In all reality, whether or not Maori were the first peoples of NZ, the Crown in signing the Treaty recognised Maori as the indigenous peoples so these unfounded claims of 'previous peoples' will not affect Maori standing in respect of treaty issues. It is usually on the basis of subverting the Treaty that right wingers try to claim a victory over Maori through postulating theories of previous peoples.

  13. Joanne Waitoa

    Controversy shouldn't erupt. Its preposterous. This Hilliam guy is obviously deluded. Ian Wishart has written about it too? Well that just says it all. Right wing bloggers would love for us to get upset about this nonsense but we shouldn't give them the satisfaction. Its not an issue and we shouldn't make it into one. Yes they're trying to invalidate our status as tangata whenua (similar to the Moriori mythology) but we don't need to waste our time giving too much thought to this type of rubbish.

  14. Joanne Waitoa

    Controversy shouldn't erupt. Its preposterous. This Hilliam guy is obviously deluded. Ian Wishart has written about it too? Well that just says it all. Right wing bloggers would love for us to get upset about this nonsense but we shouldn't give them the satisfaction. Its not an issue and we shouldn't make it into one. Yes they're trying to invalidate our status as tangata whenua (similar to the Moriori mythology) but we don't need to waste our time giving too much though to this type of rubbish.

    1. atihana m Johns

      Hillam is world famous in Dargaville. He once claimed to have seen a Spanish galleon sunk off Dargaville while flying over it on a plane. No one else ever saw it and attempts to locate it on a boat also failed. He found a piece of wood which claims came off such a ship. He found a settlement site and a piece of carving which he said was not Maori. All this was on TV filmed by breathless gullible persons who followed him around filming his delusions.

    2. tom

      JOANNE IM A ANCIENT GREEK EXPERT, YOU ONLY LOOK SMART IN FRONT OF FOOLS...KITA MEANS LOOK IN GREEK MANA IS MOTHER YOU WHO YOU ARE ...I HOPE WHEN GREEKS COME BEFORE YOU THEY ARE TREATED MANA KITAN GEI

  15. harists

    there has been alot of others saying they were here frist...if so they should have stayed here to claim it as there lands...we stayed here we forth for it we belong here in nz.

    1. tom

      YES THE TI POUNAI OF LANGUAGE AND RELIGION STILL HAS TO BE PROVED TO PROVIDE THE WORLD WITH CLOSURE ON THESE .. SO CALLED MYSTERIES??

  16. kyle

    The problem is that we may never know as none of us were around. Even Maori were not the first here! So who cares where People come.from we are all the same.

    1. peter takapuna

      kyle we are not the same you idiot. go for a stroll, open your eyes and see re: celebrate the diversity in this country. simple answer to simple question; kyle do we walk the same? talk the same? feel the same? tink the same? typical right wing, religious no brain comment.

      1. tom

        OBVIOUSLY PETER YOU WOULDNT KNOW MUCH,YOU ARE A PRODIGY OF A STUPID FOOL ,YOU WOULD SEPARATE YOUR BALLS IF YOU HAD A CHANCE..REALLY SMART AND PAINFUL ...FOOL

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