The New Zealand Royal Society continues to disgrace its British parent body’s prescribed rationale of absolute respect for factual scientific evidence, every time it touches on maori issues.
Its latest unadulterated nonsense, published over the heading “New Research Shows Maori Travelled to the Antarctic at least 1000 Years Before Europeans”, showed no such thing.
The so-called “research” by a conservation biologist Priscilla Wehi, was based on oral history mythology and the rest was speculation. One of her colleagues, a Dr Billy van Uitregt added by way of attempted further explanation, “Oral tradition brought richness to the conversation”; precisely what conversation about what, he didn’t say.
Billy added, “It highlights the limitations of the written narratives that we have, that I don’t think can be captured in written word”. Sheer bloody gibberish, specifically the verbiage removed he’s saying contradictorily, the written narratives can’t be captured in writing, not surprising anyway, as pre-European maori certainly had no writing.
That aside, notwithstanding the Royal Society’s “1000 years” heading, these clowns actually claim maoris discovered the Antarctic 1,400 years ago.
Maori oral history has at its root the figure of Kupe who supposedly fished the North Island up from the sea. Doubtless the New Zealand Royal Society accepts that as fact although I note in recent years this absurdity has been quietly replaced by a different mythology.
Nowadays the fable goes that Kupe’s motivation for coming here was chasing a giant octopus which was eating all the fish in the mythical homeland of Hawaiki.
This ludicrous Antarctic story was reported by The New Zealand Herald in a subdued manner, qualifying Wehi’s farcical claim by a heading saying “Maori MAY have discovered Antarctica”. They “MAY” have split the atom, discovered penicillin and been the first on the moon, just as I “may” knock out Tyson Fury inside a minute if matched with him, but the Royal Society excepted, “may” aint fact.
Wehi then compounding this rubbish by endeavouring to add substance to her infantile assertion by noting a number of Maori have participated in New Zealand’s Antarctic science research in recent years.
Several thousand scientists from dozens of different nations are active every summer in the Antarctic but don’t claim as Swedes or Italians that a mythical Swedish or Italian fairy-tale figure therefore discovered the territory 1,400 years ago. My 1999 novel “Full Circle” was set in the Antarctic and took the mickey out of some of these scientists’ research activities, but certainly none of them matched this guff.
All societies have myths and legends but don’t pretend they’re factual. We tell little children about Father Christmas and tooth fairies and feed them a diet of children’s books about wicked giants, wizards and mermaids but leave it at that, namely harmless mythology.
If Wehi’s paper had been presented to the Royal Society in London for publication, they’d have stoned her into the street then called the Police out of fear for the public’s safety.
As I detailed in my novella “Heaven Sent”, published last year, the Royal Society’s motto for its near 400 years of existence is “Nullius in verba”, meaning take nobody’s word for it. To rely on mythology as scientific fact belies belief.
It’s time the Royal Society in London was acquainted with the corruption of their noble vision by these abominable wets in Wellington, and withdrew their use of the Society’s name.
When scientist Dr Bob Brockie slammed the Society a couple of years back for betraying their founding purpose in respect of maori nonsense, he was sacked by Stuff from writing further weekly science columns, these not falling into line with Stuff’s maori wonderfulness editorial policy.