The Coming of the Maori
The Maui Nation
The Maui Nation
Judge J. A. Wilson (109, p. 126) was the first writer to draw attention to traditional evidence regarding the peopling of New Zealand before the arrival of immigrants from Hawaiki about 600 years ago. For the local advent of the people, the Maui fishing myth was quoted with the difference that Maui was accompanied by his three sons instead of his brothers. When the North Island was fished up, the canoe remained on top of Hikurangi Mountain "where it may be seen in a petrified state to this day." Wilson stated that from this "southern Ararat" the descendants of Maui peopled the North Island of New Zealand. Because of this descent, he referred to the people as the Maui nation to distinguish them from the later Hawaikians. He pointed out that their genealogies went back for 1000 years and contain double the number of generations found upon the genealogical tree of a Hawaikian subsequent to the immigration. Thus, Wilson supported a theory that Maui actually came to New Zealand and that the successive generations on the Maui lineages all lived in New Zealand. Such a theory infers that the Maui nation was in occupation before Kupe's voyage.
The spread of a people from the "southern Ararat" could only have page 10taken place if Maui and his sons had brought their wives with them but Polynesians did not take their wives on fishing expeditions. Maui, as a culture hero and an ancestor, must have lived over 1000 years ago and lineages in various parts of Polynesia trace back to him. It was someone lower down on the lineage and not Maui himself who came to New Zealand. It is true that there were settlers here before the Hawaikians of 600 years ago, but their ancestors did not come in the way accepted by Wilson.