The Coming of the Maori
2 — The First Settlement Period
The First Settlement Period
The kupe tradition as told by te matorohanga states definitely that there were no human inhabitants in New Zealand at the time of his visit. A west coast tradition from the Tainui area, however, states that Kupe saw people in the west digging up fern root with a pointed stick. A Whanganui informant told me that the fantail Kupe saw was flitting about above a latrine and queried the absence of inhabitants by asking, "To whom did the latrine belong?" It is possible that in some parts of the country there were people whom Kupe did not see.
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.
The Tangata Whenua
A more feasible tradition concerning the advent of the first settlers of the land (tangata whenua) was given by Te Matorohanga (81, pp. 69, 70) and some gaps in his narrative were filled in by Turaukawa, a graduate of a Taranaki school of learning. The first settlers landed in three canoes on the Taranaki coast at Ngamotu near the present town of New Plymouth. The canoes were Kahutara, Taikoria, and Okoki, commanded respectively by Maruiwi, Ruatamore, and Taitawaro. Three other persons belonging to that period were Pananehu, Tamaki, and Pohokura, a younger brother of Taitawaro. Te Matorohanga stated that neither he nor Turaukawa knew where the canoes came from. In a later chapter (81, p. 91), he remembered that they came from Horanuiatau and Haupapanuiatau which fills out the narrative but sheds no light. The country they came from was said to be very hot and larger than the land to which they came. Percy Smith (81, p. 72) interpolated into his translation the statement that they were out fishing when a westerly gale sprang up and blew them out to sea. This explanation does not make sense, for the canoes had women aboard. They evidently set out with food, water, and women to reach some group but adverse weather conditions drove them to the wrong land.
These first settlers occupied localities along the west coast of the North Island. The family groups increased in numbers and became distinguished by the prefix Tini (myriad) before their particular ancestor. The main groups, which were descended from the three canoe commanders, were Tini o Maruiwi, Tini o Taitawaro, and Tini o Ruatamore. A fourth group claimed descent from Pananehu, the Tini o Pananehu.
The people (81, p. 69) were tall and upright (kokau), with large bones (nunui nga iwi), prominent knees (turi takoto), flat faces (kanohi paraha), quick eyes (mata kanae) that were side glancing (tiro pikart), flat noses (ihu patiki), expanded nostrils (pongare kau parari), straight hair (maikawe torotika) some with lank hair (he mahora etahi) and reddish-black skins (kiri puwhero waitutu). They were a people who hugged the fire (he iwi kiri ahi) and they were lazy (mangere). In a later reference (81, p. 91), it is stated that they had thin calves (ateate rere).page 11
The above description would have done credit to a trained physical anthropologist and it would have been remarkable as an example of transmission by memorizing over a number of centuries, if it were true. Such characteristics as flat noses with expanded nostrils, thin calves, and reddish-black skins led Percy Smith and Elsdon Best to accept the recital as confirming a theory that the first settlers were of Melanesian stock. However, the details, impressive though they seem, contain one item which destroys their value as an accurate description of racial stock. A constant character of the Melanesian people is their woolly hair and as the hair of the early settlers is definitely stated to be straight (torotika) and lank (mahora), their Melanesian origin cannot be accepted as being supported by the Matorohanga account. It is evident that the Matorohanga school believed that the early settlers were different from themselves and so they made them different. The sum of physical differences formed an academic type that did not exist in real life.
The language of the Maui nation, according to Wilson (109, p. 128) was Maori. Percy Smith (81, p. 72) says of the first settlers, "The language they spoke was evidently Polynesian, as the names of people and places show." The Matorohanga school was able to create physical differences but its linguistic range was not sufficient to introduce differences in language and so the Melanesian origin is also contradicted by the first settlers not only bearing Polynesian names but applying them to their canoes and the places they occupied.
Food plants were not introduced by the first settlers and their vegetable foods were obtained entirely from local plants (p. 73). Wilson (109, p. 127), however, stated that they introduced the gourd (hue) which is possible but extremely doubtful. Wilson's further statement that they did not have the karaka is incorrect for that plant is indigenous to New Zealand. Wilson evidently knew the story of the introduction of the karaka by Turi in the later Fleet period and hence inferred that it was not present in New Zealand when the first settlers arrived.
Their clothing, as described by Turaukawa (81, p. 70), was as follows:
|Kaore he kakahu,||They had no kakahu,|
|Ko nga kahu he pake—||their kahu were pake—|
|o nga wahine,||of the women,|
|o nga tane.||of the men.|
Turaukawa evidently distinguished between kakahu as well-made cloaks and kahu as an inferior form of rain cape, for the pake of his period was a rough rain cape made of undressed kiekie leaves or of flax and not a kilt, as translated by Percy Smith (81, p. 71). What Turaukawa meant was that the early settlers had no cloaks of dressed fibre but both sexes wore a rough rain cape of undressed material.page 12
Their houses were in the form of wharau which Percy Smith (81, p. 71) translated as a lean-to shed.
Their weapons according to Turaukawa (81, p. 70) were huata (long spears), hoeroa (whalebone throwing club), and kurutai (short stone club). To these, he added, "he pere; whakawhana ai te manuka hei pere." Smith (81, p. 73) translated the statement as "the pere, by which manuka spears were thrown."
The Tini o Taitawaro spread over the present province of Taranaki from Oakura to the Mokau River. They had a village named Otaka near the present freezing works just north of New Plymouth. In the Urenui valley, they built a village named Pohokura after the younger brother of Taitawaro, and another named Okoki after his canoe. The names are still borne by two terraced hill forts on the north bank of the Urenui River but I believe that the original villages were on the flat and the names transferred after fortifications were developed centuries later.
Maruiwi died in Taranaki but the Tini o Maruiwi spread north and occupied the Tamaki area (Auckland isthmus). The Tini o Ruatamore spread further north to occupy Muriwhenua (north Auckland peninsula). Various branches spread east to Tauranga, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, east coast areas, and the northern part of Hawkes Bay.
We may regard the tangata whenua described by Te Matorohanga and the Maui nation described by Wilson as the same people. The original groupings became further divided with the increase of population by the budding off of smaller groups or subtribes, which, in the course of time, assumed the numerical proportion of tribes. These subdivisions assumed or were given distinctive names. The people who lived at Tauranga were called Purukupenga (Full-net) because of the abundant supply of sea fish in that locality. Though puru sounds suspiciously like a Maorified form of "full", it is actually the Maori word meaning stuffed, full. Another group living at Rangitaiki and Matata was named Wai o hua (Waters of abundance) because of the plentiful supply of fresh-water fish (eels, white-bait) in the rivers. Others had rather poetical names derived from native plants that flourished in their districts. Such plants as the raupo with edible roots, tree ferns (mauku) with edible pith, and the tawa with edible berries may have given rise to names like the Raupongaoheohe (Rustling-raupo-leaves), Tururumauku (Bending-fern-tree-fronds), and Tawarauriki (Small-leaved-tawa). On the other hand, the number of the leaves of the raupo and the tawa may have been used as figures of speech to denote the strength of the people in numbers. Some names seem to be entirely fanciful—such as Haeremarire (Proceed carefully) and Ngarutauwharewharenga (Curling waves)—but they must have had an original significance that has been forgotten.
The Moriori of the Chatham Islands
The Moriori people are included here with the first settlers because traditional and genealogical evidence points to their having left New Zealand before the arrival of the Fleet in 1350. If the Toi expedition of 1150 had arrived before they left, it is more than probable that it had no effect upon the culture of the emigrants. Hence the Moriori may be regarded as the pure descendants of the tangata whenua first settlers who from their isolation did not share in the legends, stories, and cultural changes introduced and developed in New Zealand after their departure.
The Chatham Islands lie 536 miles east of Port Lyttelton in latitude 43 degrees south. The first European visitor was Captain Broughton on the armed tender Chatham in 1790. He named the largest island, about 31 miles long, after his ship. The native name of the large island was Rekohu but the Maori invaders of 1835-36 gave it the name of Wharekauri which Shand (65, p. 152) pointed out was due to the following mistake. Two Maori named Ropata Tamaihengia and Pakiwhara visited the island on a whaling ship and Ropata stayed at a village named Wharekauri which name, owing to his misunderstanding of the Moriori dialect, he took to be that of the island. On their return to Wellington, Pakiwhara told the Ngati Mutunga and Ngati Tama tribes there about the rich supply of fish, shell fish, and preserved birds on the island of Wharekauri. Influenced by the rich food supplies, these tribes invaded the island and naturally called it Wharekauri. The Maori name replaced the original Moriori name of Rekohu but the change definitely took place after 1835.
The native flora included the braken fern (eruhe, Pterisaquilina), native flax (Phormium tenax), tree fern (mamaku, Cyathea medullaris), and karaka (Corynocarpus laevigata), all of which were present in New Zealand and used for the same purposes. The native trees were small, the largest being the karaka, the wood of which was unsuitable for making canoes. Owing to the absence of suitable timber, the people resorted to making rafts of the dry flower stalks (korari) of the native flax. The loss of the craft of canoe building was not due to degeneration but to the lack of suitable raw material.
The waters of a large lagoon and the surrounding sea provided a rich supply of fish. The shores yielded quantities of shell fish which included the paua (Haliotis sp.). The neighbouring islets were utilized as rookeries by the albatross (toroa) and other sea birds. The Moriori made risky voyages in their flax-stalk rafts to obtain young albatross in the breeding season, and these were preserved in their own fat.
The Moriori people were estimated by Broughton to number 1,600 at the time of his visit. The Maori invaders of 1835-36 killed a number and took many of their women as wives. Introduced diseases and intermarriage page 14reduced the number of full-blooded Moriori. Bishop Selwyn, in 1848, estimated their number at 268, and Skinner, in 1920, found that there were only two full-blooded Moriori living on the island. I later discovered a full-blooded male living at Dargaville in New Zealand. All three have since died and the Moriori became extinct as a separate people, but their blood is present in some mixed Maori families.
Traditional history has been recorded by Shand (66) who obtained his information from a Moriori named Hirawanu Tapu. Baucke (73, p. 384), who was born in the Chatham Islands, held that Hirawanu knew his own Moriori dialect imperfectly, asked informants leading questions, made suggestions to fill in gaps, and used Maori parallels. The information was written out first in Maori, which had become the current speech of the Moriori, and then translated by Hirawanu and Shand to provide a Moriori text. Baucke also blamed Shand for his uncritical adoption of doubtful parts of the stories. Te Matorohanga (81, p. 149) also recorded traditional history concerning the Moriori but though some of it may have been composed within the walls of the house of learning, there are strong indications that much was added after the walls of the academy had fallen into decay.
The earliest inhabitants of the Chatham Islands, according to Shand (66, p. 100), were sprung from the soil (no ro whenua ake), being descendants of Te Aomarama and Rongomaiwhenua. Te Aomarama (World of light) probably personifies space and light and Rongomaiwhenua may personify the earth (whenua) and the two may be a local form of the Sky-father and the Earth-mother. Such an origin does not need ocean transport and the theory of divine ancestry is a convenient substitute for forgotten history. Those who came later, however, had to be provided with canoes.
The first canoe to arrive in local tradition was the Tane, commanded by Kahu. One version states that he landed at Kaingaroa and another, at Tuku. Kahu brought his god (kikokiko) also named Kahu and fern root (eruhe) and sweet potato (kumara). The introduced fern root had more starch and less fibre than the local variety and it was given the honorific name of Kahu's vine (Te aka a Kahu). The sweet potato was planted and the following are the opening lines of the ritual chant to promote growth:
|Kumara no Aropawa i ko||Sweet potato from distant Aropawa,|
|Kumara na rau toro,||Sweet potato spread out your leaves,|
In spite of the chant, the sweet potato refused to grow so Kahu left the island declaring that it was a wet land (whenua rei). In a chant to speed his departing canoe, mention is made of Aropawa, Aotea, and Hawaiki.page 15
Shand (66, p. 101) states that the kumara chant was old and thus infers that it was known to the Moriori before the Maori invasion of 1835. The reference to Aropawa and Aotea indicates that Kahu came from New Zealand and if he really did bring the sweet potato, he must have come after the arrival of the Fleet which introduced the sweet potato to New Zealand. However, the canoes which came after Kahu predate the arrival of the Fleet and hence Kahu could not possibly have brought the sweet potato and the chant with him. It seems as if Shand's informant Hirawanu had added these items to the original Kahu tradition.
Troubles in Hawaiki such as the war of Manai (Manaia), the burning of the house named Te Uruomanono, and the slaying of Rakei, led to the coming of two ancestral canoes (66, p. 103). The two first incidents are well known in Maori tradition as occurring in Hawaiki long before the coming of the Fleet and this forms further evidence against Kahu's introduction of the sweet potato. The troubles in Hawaiki reached a climax in the war of the Wheteina tribe, under Tumoana, against the Rauru tribe led by Pohokura. The Wheteina tribe was defeated and the survivors left Hawaiki in a number of canoes. Apparently only two, the Rangimata and the Rangihoua, reached the Chatham Islands.
The Rangihoua was commanded by Te Rakiroa and his priest Te Honeke brought the symbol of his god Rongomaiwhiti. The Rangimata was commanded by Mihiti who evidently had no priest. A number of chants recorded in the text indicate that adverse winds, storms, shortage of water, and other hardships were encountered on the voyage. Land was made at Chatham Island but in attempting to land, the Rangihoua was wrecked and most of the crew, including the commander and the priest, perished. The Rangimata, without a priest or a god, made a safe landing without loss of life.
The crew of the Rangimata landed on the north coast. They are said to have planted the karaka and the marautara, a member of the convolvulus family which is now extinct. No mention is made of the sweet potato. The members of the two canoes settled down and lived peaceably with the local inhabitants. One of the local chiefs living at the time was Rongopapa. Shand (66, p. 115), from a lineage of 28 generations from Rongopapa to modern times, estimated that the Rangimata canoe arrived at the Chathams 700 years ago or roughly about 1200 A.D.
The Oropuke (66, p. 115) arrived some years later under the command of Moe, the grandson of Pohokura, chief of the Rauru tribe. The newcomers of the Rauru tribe came in contact with their hereditary enemies and after a period of peace, war broke out between them. A local chief named Nunukuwhenua was able to establish peace between the warring tribes. He established a law prohibiting the use of any weapon except a quarter staff for settling quarrels. If blood was drawn, the wounded one page 16had to call out, "I bleed" (Ka toto au) and fighting had to cease immethately. The law of Nunuku was strictly observed until the Maori invasion of 1835 broke the long period of peace.
The Matorohanga account is exasperating in its copious details which make one wonder how anyone in New Zealand could possibly know more about the people on a distant island than the people themselves. The account (81, pp. 75, 149) commences by stating that a party of the early Tini o Taitawaro tribe, after suffering defeats in Taranaki, crossed to Aropawa, the northern part of the South Island. There they were attacked by Tamaahua and his men who were seeking greenstone in the South Island. After two defeats, the Tini o Taitawaro fled in six canoes. They were seen going south and were assumed to have reached the Chatham Islands. Tamaahua was stated to have come to New Zealand with Whatonga in the Kurahaupo canoe. This would place the date as somewhere about 1175 A.D. which would probably fit in with the arrival of the Rangihoua and Rangimata canoes in Chatham Islands. However, the story of where the remnants of the Tini o Taitawaro went is pure conjecture on the part of the Maori historians. The Moriori have no record of the name Taitawaro.
The Matorohanga version of the Kahu tradition (81, p. 150) is an extraordinary compilation of so many details that nothing is left for doubt except its authenticity. Some further details are added to Toi's voyage (81, p. 150) for after leaving Rarotonga, he is stated to have visited other islands including Pangopango, Hamoa (Samoa) from whence he sailed for New Zealand. He missed his objective and, getting too far to the east, sighted a small island but did not land. He evidently reshaped his course and landed at Tamaki. The report of the island was spread later and reached Kahu who was living at Whakatane.
Kahu with 27 persons migrated to the west coast to a place named Te Houhou on the banks of the Rangitikei River. After much building material had been cut, Kahu's son Tamauri dreamt that the timber had been floated away to an island out in the ocean. Kahu took the dream as a favourable omen and determined to seek the island. He moved to the mouth of the Rangitikei River and proceeded to build a seagoing canoe. His daughter, Hinetewaiwai, found a kauri log stranded on the beach and this was split to form beams, sprits, and masts for the canoe. Akaaroroa, an expert canoe builder, opportunely arrived from Whanganui and completed the building of the canoe. Three varieties of fern root and some seed kumara and taro were placed aboard. The canoe named Tanewai sailed and in due course landed at a bay on the north coast of the island they sought.
The bay where they landed was named Kaingaroa in remembrance of the New Zealand plain near Kahu's temporary home at Taupo. The page 17kauri timber on the canoe was used to build a house and hence the island was named Wharekauri (house of kauri). The fern roots were planted and the spot named Tongariro after the mountain in New Zealand. The sweet potato and taro were planted but did not grow. Hence Kahu determined to return to Arapaoa in New Zealand. The expert canoe builder, Akaaroroa, and others who had married local women refused to leave the island. Kahu, his daughter, and some of his people embarked on the Tanewai canoe and disappeared from mortal ken.
An analysis of the Kahu story, as told in detail in the native text of Te Matorohanga, indicates strongly that it has been elaborated around the simpler Moriori story by adding details as to personal and place names and rationalizing some of the events. Thus Toi was deflected out of his course so as to report an island to the east of New Zealand. Kahu was located at Whakatane in order to hear the report. He was moved to Rangitikei as the best place for departure, and the names of various places at which he stayed are included to give that detail which carries conviction to the Maori mind. It is absolutely certain that the compilers of the story had heard that the island was named Wharekauri. This information could only have come from some Taranaki source after the year 1835. It is on record that Te Matorohanga exchanged information with some Taranaki chiefs in 1841 (81, p. 154) and with Whanganui chiefs in 1855 or 1856 (81, p. 154). Thus he was able to provide for the naming of the island by including some kauri spars on Kahu's canoe. However, there were no kauri trees in the Rangitikei district so a kauri log was conveniently floated down from its natural habitat in the north and cast ashore near the canoe builders. On landing on the island, the kauri spars were used to build the house in order to account for the name of Wharekauri. In the Moriori account, Kahu introduced one new variety of fern root and the sweet potato only but Te Matorohanga introduced three varieties of fern root and the taro in addition to the sweet potato. The addition of the taro does not strengthen the story for we know that neither the taro nor the sweet potato were in New Zealand until about two centuries after the advent of Toi.
The manner in which the Kahu story was brought back to New Zealand was told to Te Matorohanga by the two Whanganui chiefs whom he visited in 1854 or 1855. They stated that Akaaroroa had descendants in the Chatham Islands and of these, Te Hautehoro in the fourth generation from Akaaroroa, returned to Whanganui, where he and his descendants remained. Though sea-going canoes could be made in New Zealand to voyage to the Chatham Islands, there was no material in the Chatham Islands to make a seaworthy canoe for the return of Te Hautehoro to the land of his ancestors. It is hardly likely that he could have covered the 536 miles of rough sea in a raft made of the flower stalks of page 18the native flax. Thus the explanation imposes another burden on our credulity.
The Matorohanga narrative is lengthened by further references to events in Hawaiki and the sailing of the Rangihoua and Rangimatawai canoes but as Percy Smith (81, p. 155) explains that this part was probably added by Te Whatahoro, the scribe, it may be ignored. It is interesting to note, however, that Te Whatahoro's literary method included increasing numbers such as three varieties of fern root instead of one, adding extra place and personal names, and lengthening or altering the Moriori names. Thus the Moriori names Rangimata, Rongomaiwhiti, Kauanga, and Tarere become Rangimatawai, Rongomaiwhitiki, Maruakauanga, and Tareremoana in the Whatahoro version. The Moriori names Kirika and Te Rakiroa were changed to Arikikakahu and Rakeiroau. Such changes may have been due to lapses of memory but they are so consistent that they seem to indicate a deliberate plan of conjuring up extra details.
|Ancestor||Number of generations
to 1900 A D.
|Rongomaiwhenua||137 (129)||3,175||1275 B.C.|
|Kahuti (con. of Kahu)||101 (101)||2,525||625 B.C.|
|Rongopapa (con. of Rangimata canoe)||28 (31)||700||1200 A.D.|
Two Moriori lineages recorded by Shand (66, p. 52) are extremely interesting. One of 183 generations supplied by Tamahiwai in 1868 commences with Tu, Rongo, Tane, and Tangaroa, passes through Toi, Rauru, and Whatonga, through Rongomaiwhenua (the first inhabitant), and ends with Tamahiwai himself. The first four are major Polynesian gods and they supply genealogical evidence that the Moriori ancestors came originally from central Polynesia. The group of Toi, Rauru, and Whatonga is important for if it was not added to the lineage after Maori contact in 1835, it proves that the Moriori ancestors were in New Zealand after the arrival of Toi and Whatonga. Such a lineage could not have come direct from central Polynesia. On this line, the contemporaries at the visits of Kahu and the Rangimata canoe were Kahuti and Rongopapa respectively. The other lineage of 129 generations was given by Maikoua. It commences with Te Aomarama and Rongomaiwhenua and includes contemporaries of Kahu and the Rangimata canoe. By adding two generations to bring the lineages down to 1900 A.D. and giving each generation a value of 25 years, amazing results are obtained as regards the dating of Toi, Rongomaiwhenua, and Kahu. The foregoing table is page 19compiled from the Tamahiwai lineage and the corresponding number of generations in the Maikoua lineage is shown in parentheses.
The dates obtained for Toi, Rongomaiwhenua, and Kahu are utterly fantastic and show that these lineages, like others, have been built up to acquire the prestige of length. Though we cannot accept them as a measure of time, we can admire the two Moriori genealogists for committing such long lists to memory. But though lineages may be unreliable in the part dealing with remote ancestors, the latter part covering more recent ancestors may still have some value in dating events. Thus the date of 1200 A.D. for the Rangimata canoe with its unfortunate sister ship, the Rangihoua, may be approximately correct.
The Moa Hunters
The traditional accounts of early settlement have received convincing support from archaeological research in the South Island from which the extinct moa supplied the key to unlock the past. The large wingless moa must have formed a wonderful source of food supply to the early settlers and yet the fact that they were extinct and that there was a paucity of traditional references concerning them, created a doubt as to whether the ancestors of the Maori had ever seen a living moa. However, the very fact that a few references did mention the name moa could not be disregarded.
The name moa was applied to the domestic fowl throughout Polynesia. It was brought into central Polynesia with the pig and the dog and the moa was carried to the Hawaiian Islands in the north and to Easter Island in the far east. Of the three Polynesian introduced animals, only the dog reached New Zealand. From the presence of the word moa in even a few Maori references, it seemed evident that the first settlers, having no introduced moa, applied the spare name to a local bird which appealed to them as furnishing an even better supply of food than the domesticated fowl which they knew in the homeland. Thus the paucity of references to the moa applied to the traditions of the Fleet ancestors who arrived after the moa had been exterminated by the earlier settlers.
The discovery of moa bones associated with Maori middens in the sandhills of the North Island seemed to indicate that the two were contemporaneous but Archey (8, p. 99), after a study of the sites, explained the matter as follows:
"Certain associations or occurrences together, of moa bones and Maori midden material are secondary, and have resulted from the erosion of younger overlying sandhills and the consequent mingling of their midden material with much older moa remains."
However, the South Island furnished better evidence. The association of moa bones with human artifacts was described by Hutton and others page 20and excited interest at the time. Skinner, Teviotdale and others conducted more extensive excavations on sites in Otago and Canterbury which were regarded as moa hunters' camps. Teviotdale (100, p. 117) in summing up his work pointed out that the stone adzes and fishhooks found associated with moa bones were definitely Polynesian in type. Further excavations by Eyles and Duff (30) at Wairau in Marlborough uncovered graves in which skeletons were associated with adzes, ornaments, and blown moa eggs. The adzes again were of Polynesian type. (Plate I.) Thus the early settlers were definitely proved to have hunted the moa and to have been of Polynesian stock.
Further light on the problem was shed by studies in ornithology. The discovery of large numbers of moa skeletons closely packed together in swamps had aroused suspicion that the early moa hunters had been guilty of wholesale slaughter. One of the few Maori references alludes to the moa having been driven into swamps by the fire (ahi) of Tamatea. However, Archey (8, p. 99) cleared up the situation by stating that the destruction of the moa in considerable numbers occurred in a pluvial period following the Pleistocene glaciation. He adds:
"The pluvial conditions themselves and the accompanying extension of forest areas in this period may separately or conjointly have been to the disadvantage of the moa, but they did not prevent its survival until the advent of man a thousand years or more ago."
The earliest human occupants quickly exterminated the moa, first in the North Island and later in the South, and it happened before the great fleet migration of 1350 A.D. brought to these shores the ancestors of the present Maori tribes, whose legends have preserved vague accounts from the earlier Polynesian folk believed to have already been in occupation of the land for some generations.
The advent of man a thousand years or more ago fits in with the traditional coming of the first settlers referred to by Wilson as the Maui nation and by Best as the Maruiwi.
The voluntary settlement of parts of the South Island before the advent of the Fleet had heretofore created a problem. The North Island was naturally held to be more attractive to people of Polynesian stock because of its warmer climate which was also conducive to the growth of tropical food plants, such as the sweet potato, taro, and yam. However, the earliest settlers had not brought any cultivable food plants with them and hence the better agricultural possibilities of the North Island meant nothing to them. They were perforce hunters and not tillers of the soil. Thus when the supply of moa ran short in the North Island, the people moved south in search of better hunting grounds. Duff (30, p. 23) has shown that certain artifacts associated with the moa hunters have a "normal Cook Strait concentration". It may be assumed that there was a page 21period of closer settlement on the northern shores of Cook Strait before exploration across the strait led to settlement on its southern shores at D'Urville Island and Marlborough. A strong attraction must have existed to induce people to cross Cook Strait and spread to various localities along the east coast of the South Island as far as Murihiku. The evidence produced by the excavations in camp and settlement sites and the cemetery at Wairau proves that the attraction was the greater abundance of moa for food supply. Hence in the hunting period before cultivable food plants were introduced by the Fleet, the South Island was more attractive to hunters than the North Island.
During the first settlement period, probably, the moa was exterminated in the South Island but the moa hunters and their descendants had become acclimatized in their southern homes and they continued to find ample supplies of food in other birds, fish, shell fish and indigenous native plants. It may be that the early tribes of the south referred to as the Rapuwai and the Waitaha were the unmixed descendants of the southern moa hunters. Both these tribal names follow the descriptive terminology applied to the North Island tribes descended from Maruiwi and his contemporaries. After centuries of isolation, the South Island was invaded by the Ngati Mamoe and later again by the Ngaitahu, both names conforming to the later form adopted after the arrival of the Fleet. The Ngaitahu pushed the Ngati Mamoe further south into the Murihiku area. The Rapuwai and Waitaha were absorbed mostly into the Ngati Mamoe but some elements of the early Polynesian culture of their moa-hunting ancestors have survived in the local culture of the extended Murihiku area. Some of the tools, hooks, and ornaments of the early Polynesian culture have been preserved intact by Mother Earth and the moa remains associated with them have conclusively proved that they predate the various stages of intermixture which resulted in what we now know as Maori culture.