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Status of Maori as "indigenous" needs to be investigated

Status of Maori as "indigenous" needs to be investigated says Maori leader

Ngapuhi leader David Rankin says that the status of Maori as New Zealand’s indigenous population needs to be investigated in light of new research that is emerging which suggests that previous civilizations lived in New Zealand prior to Maori arriving.

“I am not saying that these researchers are completely right” says Mr Rankin, “but we now have books by Ian Wishart, Noel Hilliam, and others which present clear evidence that some of the earliest arrivals might have reached New Zealand before the Polynesians”.

Mr Rankin points to numerous Maori oral histories which refer to people being here when the first Maori arrived, including fair-skinned people. “If we believe our histories, then we as Maori are not the indigenous people of New Zealand” he says. He also says that the archaeological evidence in some research is a potential challenge to the status of Maori as indigenous, which is why he believes no other Maori is prepared to speak publically on these issues.

Mr Rankin believes that details of much of the country’s past is being concealed by academic historians. “I would say it’s a conspiracy. They are worried that their own research will be exposed so they have worked hard to ridicule and suppress any Maori history which disagrees with their views”, he says.

“However”, says Mr Rankin “the tide is turning and more people are now seeing that there is a whole history of our country that has been concealed and which will have major implications for Treaty settlements for example”.

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