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Forbidden history, or just not accepted?

Monica Matamua 2-933After many years researching local, national and international channels, Englishman John Dudley Aldworth last week released his book Forbidden History.

Aldworth has a passion for New Zealand history and this book follows several veins from indisputable evidence of pre-Maori peoples to genocide by warring factions and to the greed of governments.

This is a book destined to be controversial but compelling reading. It will promote discussion, debate and, sadly, disbelief and denial from some quarters.

The public gathered at Dargaville Museum to hear an address by 75-year-old Monica Matamua of the Waitaha but integrated and descended from the Patupaiarehe people (and the Urukehu) who are well known for their light skin, fair hair and translucent eyes, which is evident when looking at Monica. These same features are still appearing through her family.

Her belief that she is of different lineage was confirmed in 2012 by DNA testing which traced back 74 generations to the Spanish, Portuguese and Phoenicians. Her relatives number 1300 of similar DNA. Such evidence brings her race alive she says. Maori, on the other hand, few of whom have been DNA tested, are shown to have their roots in Asia.

Monica now seeks recognition of her tribal existence and compensation by the Crown for land taken during genocidal battles. Though Waitaha never signed the Treaty of Waitangi, Monica contends her people are still entitled to compensation.

Local historian, Noel Hilliam, with over 60 years of comprehensive research behind him, has identified burial sites and caves showing indisputable evidence of a pre-Able Tasman people and various artifacts traced to South American origins.

Other west coast finds include the skeleton of at least one Chinese ship believed part of a fleet of 500 which left China in 1421. Only 200 returned, but leaving on our coast pottery, bronze sheeting and a cannon ball dated to be cast in from the year 1200. Sub-surface radar has been used to scan the ship and identify the wooden framework as Chinese and carbon dated to be over 5,000 years old.

Norwegian explorer Thor Hyerdahl sailed from South America to Polynesia in 1947 in his boat Kon-Tiki made of balsa logs and papyrus bindings and concluded that, sailing with the currents, people from South America could well have settled in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times.

His aim in mounting the Kon-Tiki expedition was to show, by using only the materials and technologies available at the time, that there were no technical reasons to prevent them from having done so.

Parts of Northland have been embargoed to trespassing preventing geologists and scientists from further investigating these relics of an earlier age.

Paramount Chief Hori Kupenga Manuka Manuka, AKA George Connolly, also occupies an important place in the book and, as Waitaha himself, endorses sentiments held by Monica Matamua. He also has a connection with the Kaipara through living previously at Oneriri.

“We should never stop trying to find out more, and get our history right to define us in terms of the original people who came here,” says Monica.

While many Maori stick rigidly to their belief of being the first to inhabit NZ, discoveries over many years within our local area show other human life could have been here learlier – even pre-Abel Tasman. It is a shame that some do not at least consider the possibility that they are a genuine link in the chain of New Zealand’s history.

Forbidden History by John Dudley Aldworth is well worth reading.

WAITAHA: Monica Matamua, a descendant of those thought to pre-date Maori in New Zealand, now seeks formal recognition of her tribal existence.

- Rob Pooley

The Mangawhai Focus is the only 'Mangawhai' community Newspaper and is the paper of choice within the local area.

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