Northern Advocate apology

It looks like being a day of media apologies.

The Northern Advocate has apologised for publishing an article that claimed people from Wales and the Mediterranean settled New Zealand before Maori did. See The white tangata whenua

From The Hui:


The story was published by the Northern Advocate and shared with the NZ Herald.
The Northern Advocate accepts it was wrong to publish Mr Hilliam’s theory of pre-Maori occupation before receiving information from the university that Mr Hilliam cited as a source of his reconstructed drawings.

We had contacted the university, from whom we initially did not hear back, and wrongly chose to publish Mr Hilliam’s opinion without its response.

The notion of pre-Maori occupation is a sensitive one — something of which the paper has become acutely aware.

We regret the story has been a catalyst for some people to infer political or racial motives.

There was no motive behind the publication of the story other than to contribute to the ongoing healthy debate about Northland’s rich history.

We are not experts on Maori matters but we respect tikanga and, in general, enjoy a good, robust relationship with local tangata whenua.

We strive to report positive Maori stories, and we are proactive in highlighting the success of Maori youth. For instance, a Whangarei man received the Te Toa Reo Maori – Takitahi (Individual Achievement) award at the Maori Language Commission’s Nga Tohu Reo Maori in December, after the paper nominated him for the award.

And we share the optimism of Nga Puhi that the treaty settlement will bring good things for Northlanders.

We have learned many lessons from this story, which has also embarrassed our matua within the NZ Herald.

We are continuing to work on bringing balance to Mr Hilliam’s theories and will share this with our readers as soon as this work is completed.

Northlanders — and New Zealanders — should be open to debate about the past, the present and the future. But there is a right way to encourage any such debate. We did it the wrong way, for which we apologise.

This looks like a fair comment:

Atakohu Middleton There is absolutely nothing to debate. Hilliam’s theories have been debunked countless times. The issue is that the Northern Advocate didn’t do its homework.

Next Post
Leave a comment


  1. Conspiratoor

     /  29th May 2017

    This is a typically gutless over reaction from a regional rag. Issues raised by this historian deserve to be debated and/or debunked in an open forum without this nonsense

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  29th May 2017

      Yes, for sure the racist card got played here.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  29th May 2017

        Though to be sure Hilliam’s claims are fantasy given the vast lack of supporting evidence.

      • Pickled Possum

         /  29th May 2017

        @ Al Why wouldn’t the race card be played when race is being debating?

        History re-writers cause controversy and makes a little struggling newspaper
        relevant again … Hilliams claims and alleged facts make me wonder what his kaupapa is?

        • Pickled Possum

           /  29th May 2017

          debating of course. Tiredness is no excuse for sloppy spellin

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  29th May 2017

          Why is race relevant to a question of when and which humans came to NZ?

  2. What i find interesting is how the advocate fails to hold it’s reporter accountable for his behaviour, and how he personaly has done nothing, not even appologised for all of the trouble he has caused, insted he hides at opouteke, and allows others to do the cleaning up of the mess he has created


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s