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Letters to the Editor



Flat earth comparison
Well said Liz Clark [Letters to the Editor, June 12] for endorsing the view that officially sanctioned history, proclaimed by officially recognised university-educated historians, is the only true history.

I believe that at one stage of recorded history it was officially declared that the earth was flat. Well, anyone could see that was true, until some idiot (obviously a nutter) said that it wasn’t so.

Whoa! Heresy! Someone had dared to question (hushed tones) ‘Authority’!

Fortunately for us in New Zealand we have several courageous researchers who have dared to look beyond our sanitised historical distortions in a bid to uncover the truth about our country’s past.

You make your view clear while rubbishing the findings of Noel Hilliam that “only real archaeologists, not self-proclaimed ones” have any credibility, yet in the same letter claim “I have educated myself” as being a valid qualification for your role as a heritage researcher.

Surely a report from a hands-on been-there-done-that researcher such as Mr Hilliam should be granted more validity than the opinions of historians looking down from the ivory towers of higher education as they desperately seek peer approval.

The Waipoua Forest stone city reports were not freely released but only became public through a legal submission to the Ombudsman by Dr Gary Cook (another of your rubbished researchers). The released documents consisted of 14 pages of indexed references – no sign of the decade-long entries contained in archaeological field diaries, or the crucial 1998 report “Radio carbon dates from Waipoua Forest” by Michael Taylor (he who placed the embargo on the entire site.)

The existence of the radio carbon dating report is acknowledged in a letter from the then Associate Minister of Conservation, Phillida Bunkle.

Does it not strike you as strange, Ms Clark, that the one crucial document that could provide proof of the date of human occupancy has mysteriously been removed?

As for your denial of the early Waitaha people; Yes, their descendants and those of the even earlier Patuparaiehe are very much alive – even though they were refused a fair hearing by the Waitangi Tribunal who preferred the verbal attestations of rival Maori interested parties.

Perhaps you should talk to Hori Kupenga Manuka Manuka, paramount chief of the Waitaha, and Monica Matamua who speaks for the surviving Patuparaiehe people. They are not a “white colonial” invention, but the true tangatawhenua of our nation’s history.

Mitch Morgan


Tangata Whenua debate
Poor Liz Clark [Letters to the Editor, June 12] . Only having access to the taught doctrine as opposed to actual records, is very sad. No wonder the likes of her get upset at a challenging set of facts. She is correct however about the official archaeological report on the stone work in Waipoua Forest being available.

However, I also have Michael Taylor’s 14 pages of hand-written notes and the Sutton site maps with key to diagrams. On pages 321-324 are the official carbon date figures. The columns showing ‘date’ figures differ from the true figures released at the aforementioned (published here 29/05/17) Kerikeri meeting by several hundred years. Hence the 75-year embargo.

I also have the Auckland University infrared aerial photography (anthropology department) report showing even older occupation features in the lower valley, which were not studied by Taylor and the team.

Can’t Liz Clark understand that our true habitation history, is just that! Not anti-Maori? If she reads the first and penultimate paragraphs of my May 29 letter and views the material listed, it would help her.

I am familiar with the new protectionist acts but point out that resurrecting an ancient site, is totally different to ‘modifying or destroying’, as detailed in the Pouhere Taonga Act. This is world-wide practice. Those of us seeking the truth about earlier habitation and seafarers, are not concerned about any ‘original’ Maori constructions, or ‘genuine’ burial sites, but others. Let’s get over the opposition to truth and investigate lots of sites. Then let the sciences of carbon dating and DNA profiling, inform all of us of the facts.

As for Hilliam raiding urupa – what a concocted load of rubbish.

When 60,000 skeletal remains were taken to the Robinson Bone Mill in Auckland, many were left around the Kaipara countryside. These are the remains of mass murder and cannibalism of Turihu and Waitaha peoples. I have spoken to Noel Hilliam and he has offered to lead an official archaeological team to a site of ancient remains, so that carbon dating, photographs, measurements and DNA profiling can be nationally available. This needs to be by two separate institutions, one of which must be overseas and away from New Zealand government influence.

B Jones


The ship in the bush
I first became interested in New Zealand’s ancient history about 70 odd years ago while on a school holiday with my Auntie Sarah, at Kaniere, Hokitika, when she told me about three friends who were on an hunting and exploring trip down South Westland/West Otago area some 30 years prior. They came upon the remains of an ancient wooden ship. They were in dense bush, and they estimated that they were at least one and a half miles, and possibly closer to two miles, from the coast.

They bought out samples of timber from the ship and took them to Wellington. It turned out to be teak, which comes from China. How did it get there? Was it dragged there? Not likely! It had lain there for about 500 years. Scientists asked them to lead them to the site, but they could not locate it again. I have spent over 65 years wondering how it got there.

About three years ago, I came upon a book titled 1421, by Gavin Menzies. Gavin spent some six years of his youth in China, and learnt the language. In this book, he explains that the emperor, Zheng He, sent his entire navy consisting of over 700 ships to sea to explore the oceans, locate people and lands, and set up trade relations with them in 1421. They took plants, animals, and people with them, and deposited them around the world. Some three quarters of the ships did not return.

This book provides a logical answer as to how the ship in the bush came to be there. He spent some 15 years researching information for the book, so it was not done in a flash. He has since written a sequel to it, titled 1434. He has a team working for him now, and is still researching more material for yet another book as it comes to hand.

A huge catastrophe occurred around 600 years ago to the south of New Zealand, which altered the course of history throughout the Pacific Ocean. Would that have been around 1421?

In answer to Terry Harris’ letter pertaining to Forbidden History, a book by John Aldworth – yes, I have a copy of that book in my collection, signed by John, as well as Monica Matamua of the Patupaiarehe, and Te Upoko Ariki, Hori Kupenga Manuka Manuka of the Waitaha people, whose ancestors were here some one thousand years before Maori. Take note Liz Clark!

Terry may be interested in another book by Gavin Menzies, The Lost Empire of Atlantis, which could well explain what happened some 3500 years ago to the Welsh – yet another catastrophe, and may well explain the Book of Exodus in the Bible!

By way of a parting shot, it would be true to say that nobody who is alive today has witnessed an eruption of a super volcano. Heaven help everybody on the planet when we do!

Kevan G. Marks


Domain committee coup
While doing some conservation work on the dunes last week I had a discussion with a long time resident of Mangawhai where he expressed how much things have changed over the years with it no longer being the sleepy little place that it used to be. “That’s for real” I responded and proceeded to tell him about the Mangawhai Domain Society AGM that had just been held.

With my wife on the committee and having attended the meeting I was in a position to be fairly objective about the events that took place. The most notable being that unlike past meetings there was a large public attendance as opposed to the usual one or two from the community.

The meeting was duly opened by Pip Beavan but before new member elections took place Matt Rowe, the Mangawhai Football Club rep (MFC), hijacked the meeting process and proceeded to denigrate, humiliate and generally accuse the existing committee of all manner of things including being disproportionate, dysfunctional and opinionated.

Pip tried more than once to get the sometimes confrontational meeting back on track but was unsuccessful with Matt’s disruption lasting for the best part of an hour! I believe most of the predominantly sports related people there were specifically asked to attend knowing full well what was planned and Matt needed to make his ‘pre-election’ spiel before any further formal proceedings could take place, ie. election of the new committee.

The result was those attending being brainwashed into thinking this was the worst committees ever and when it finally came time for voting to occur Matt was duly elected chairperson and his other voice, Kathy Newman, as vice with other sports-related persons from the floor also being elected.

The point to all of this is not that a change of committee occurred but the unprofessional and offensive way it was done and that a community facility is now at risk of being controlled by a group (MFC) who have a vested interest in the Domain as a resource. Welcome to the new Mangawhai.

The hypocrisy of the situation is that none of the significant roles were contested, ie. the ones that require the hard work to keep the domain running so in spite of these people being a large part of the supposedly ‘dysfunctional’ committee, their positions were not contested.

At the subsequent first committee meeting however, these other members of the original committee resigned as they felt they could not work with Matt and Kathy, especially given their obvious contempt for the AGM process, them as individuals and Domain Society in general.

The irony of course is that if Matt had simply followed the correct meeting process and kept his mouth shut he would in all likelihood still been elected and have a fully functional committee but the result is the exact opposite.

In addition there is a group of ex-committee members who are most concerned that their good name in the community has been compromised and that some users of the Domain may ultimately be disadvantaged.

As one who has seen the contribution these volunteers have made over the years I would hate to think that is the case, but the writing is on the wall. Many of those attending the meeting have also expressed how disgusted and appalled they were at the ‘soccer ambush’.

One hopes that the tactics that were employed to undermine and effectively take over the Domain Committee by a group with a single minded agenda is not a sign of the times and new face of the not so sleepy, and now not so little place called Mangawhai.

The committee members who have subsequently resigned or been displaced and their years of service and various roles are as follows: Mark Gash (17 years, chairperson, treasurer, caretaker); John Webby (9 years, reviewer and anything money); Maun Beavan (8 years, committee member); Di Rous (7 years, secretary); Pip Beavan (4 years, chairperson, project manager); Carol Parkes (4 years, treasurer, gala coordinator); Lynn Davey (2 years – booking officer); Clive Davey (2 years, committee member, photographer).

All credit to them and many thanks for their excellent efforts over the years. Dedicated volunteers are hard to find but I guess the good news here is that if there is another minority group out there looking for a facility just turn up en-masse to the next Domain Society AGM and she’s all yours.

Ross Parkes

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