Those who kept a diary in 2020 have provided a service to posterity. –Paul Lay, Editor of History Today

In this issue

  • Reflections on the Kapiti Biodiversity talk in May.
  • The upcoming June session – Larry Keim on The Pacific War and the Friendly Invasion Tuesday 29 June 
  • Other talks coming up. 
  • Pre-Polynesian Settlement in New Zealand

The Kapiti Biodiversity Project 

Glenda Robb, who co-ordinates the project, gave a fascinating talk in May about what is being done to protect and promote biodiversity in Queen Elizabeth Park, Whareroa Farm and alongside the escarpment track south of Paekakariki.

It was well illustrated with an excellent power point display showing, amongst other things, the work of volunteers, weta motels, doing lizard counts, and the activities of little blue penguins. 

Our June speaker: Larry Keim on the “Friendly Invasion”

“My session basically goes back over the early days of World War II here in New Zealand. The biggest difference from the my previous talks is that I’m showing a short film from the Sergeant Norm Hatch collection that was taken here in NZ in 1943 when he was assigned to document the visit by then America’s first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The film also shows the Marines practicing their amphibious training on the Kapiti Coast. This footage has never been seen before”. 

Larry Keim was born in Sacramento, California. He is a 69 year old retired U.S. Marines Major, who worked for the NZ Government for 10 years. He has lived in New Zealand for past 13 years and currently resides in Raumati Beach. He had a distinguished record with the Marines and served in many parts of the world from Vietnam to Somalia.

Larry is ideally qualified to speak on the importance of the Marines’ role in Kapiti’s history as he is currently Chairman of the New Zealand American Association and a member of the Kapiti United States Marines Trust.

(Larry is shown below on the left in the right hand photo taken by Pam Childs at the 2016 Memorial Day Service in Queen Elizabeth Park.)

All welcome – pass the word and bring your friends.

  • Tuesday 29 June at 7.30pm
  • Kapiti Uniting Church, 10 Weka Road, Raumati Beach.
  • Gold coin koha. Thanks. 
  • A light supper will be served following the talk.

Coming up later in the year 

An interesting mix. Negotiations are on-going to fill the October slot.

  • July 27 Desiree Jury on a topic related to historical novels
  • August 24John Robinson on the colourful Northland chief Hone Heke
  • September 21 Mark Dickson on the changing Kapiti coastline
  • November 30 David Hadfield on his father Barry Hadfield first Mayor of the Kapiti District

We are always happy to get suggestions for talks and possible speakers.

The evidence for Pre–Polynesian settlement in New Zealand

The thoughts of the late Ngapuhi chief, David Rankin

Maori are NOT the indigenous people of Aotearoa/ New Zealand. There were already many other races living here long before Kupe arrived. I am his direct descendant and I know from our oral history passed down 44 generations.

Every Maori community talks about Waitaha, Turehu and Patupaiarehe … the kuia used to talk about the fair-skinned people …. A lot of people identify as Paniora … Spaniard, indicating Portuguese and Spanish washed up on ancient ships.

When my ancestors arrived at these shores of Aotearoa there were people here to greet them. The question is who were these people?

Andreas Reischek’s recollections 

(He lived in NZ from 1877-1889 and travelled throughout the country. He became fluent in Te Reo and was a friend of Waikato rangatira, Tawhaio, who allowed him to travel freely in the “King Country”.)

The chiefs told me the Maori are a mixed race; tradition has it that their forefathers originally came to NZ from Hawaiki in 13 double canoes. They landed at different spots in the North Island and found them inhabited by dark-coloured men with curly black hair and small of stature. 

These original inhabitants – they called them Ngatimaimai – were found to be good husbandmen and hunters, but poor warriors. So the Maori conquered them, killed the men and took possession of the women. This union would account for the three differentiated types I noticed.

Archaeological evidence

The Waipoua Forest in Northland and the Poukawa Valley in Hawke’s Bay are the best examples.

(See these articles by Ian Bradford based on the researches of Martin Doutré.

Evidence of the “stone city” in the Waipoua Forest

Ian Wishart’s The Great Divide: The Story of New Zealand & Its Treaty has a very interesting lengthy chapter on other evidence backing up the conclusion that there were other people here when the Polynesians arrived in the 13th century.

It is very unfortunate that most of New Zealand’s professional historians won’t touch the topic. Why should we hide our history? Let the professional archaeologists get on with the job of further digging in the Waipoua Forest – where they are currently not allowed to operate by local Maori – and the Poukawa Valley.

Best wishes

Roger Childs and John Robinson