Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Historian criticises NZ discovery claims as “shameful"

Media Release
10 January 2014

Historian criticises New Zealand discovery claims as “shameful”

Historian Professor Paul Moon has hit out at fresh claims of secret European efforts to colonise New Zealand prior to James Cook’s arrival in the country in 1769.   

Fragments from a ship buried in sand near Kaipara Head were recently carbon-dated to around 1705 AD, leading to Jonathan Palmer, a climate scientist at the University of New South Wales, suggesting that European powers were engaged in secret schemes to claim territories in the South Pacific seven decades before Cook’s arrival.

However, Professor Moon rejects these claims, criticising both the scientific as well as historical methods used.

“A few pieces of wood were tested, without any systematic attempt to get samples from all parts of the vessel”, Moon point out.  “As a result, the wood samples tested could easily have been pieces from the ship that were reclaimed from other, older vessels. This was a widespread method of ship-repair at the time.  This makes the dating exercise conducted on this vessel almost valueless”.

Professor Moon is even more critical of what he describes as “shameful” historical arguments used by the researchers: “essentially, they are saying that the absence of any documentary evidence at all is somehow ‘proof’ that there was a secret campaign by some European countries to explore and colonise territories in the South Pacific.” 

“Three centuries after the event, with all the archives open, we would expect to see solid evidence of such schemes.  The more sensible conclusion to reach from the lack of any paper-trail”, says Moon “is that there was no such secret scheme – it’s as simple as that. Instead, what we have been told is this ridiculous cloak-and-dagger story.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Countdown, And Mary Margaret O’Hara

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Key In NY: Prime Minister Addresses United Nations

    Prime Minister John Key has addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, focusing on a call for action in Syria and on other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. More>>.


    Gordon Campbell: On The Lack Of Accountability Over Philip Smith

    In New Zealand, accountability is an exotic creature rarely glimpsed at ministerial level, or among senior management. The flight to Rio by the paedophile /murderer Philip John Smith/Traynor is no exception. More>>


    More On Corrections

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news