Māori artefacts linked to eastern Polynesia

Artefact evidence has further linked Māori to the Tahiti in eastern Polynesia, with three scoria blocks found in the South Island and Stewart Island being found to be unlike New Zealand volcanic rock, and near identical to a volcano on the island of Mehetia, about 100km southeast of Tahiti in French Polynesia.

This adds to what is already known.

The Journey to Aotearoa

Modern scholars tell us that more than 15,000 years ago we lived on the land now called China, and that from there we travelled via Taiwan and the Philippines to Indonesia.

About 6,000 to 9,000 years ago we moved on through Melanesia and reached Fiji about 3,500 years ago. From there to Samoa and on to the Marquesas 2,500 years ago.

Perhaps that was the limit of our eastern migration for it seems that 1,700 years ago we turned South West to Tahiti, thence to the Cook Islands and to Aotearoa/New Zealand

NZ Herald:  Northland scientist finds link to ancient home of Māori

A Northland scientist has for the first time pinpointed the origin of early Māori artefacts found in New Zealand to a precise location in eastern Polynesia.

Dr Ross Ramsay’s discovery further backs up oral history that Māori arrived in New Zealand not by accident but in a deliberate voyage of exploration that began in what is now French Polynesia.

Ramsay, a retired geologist living in Kerikeri, studied three scoria blocks found in archaeological sites at the bottom of the South Island and on a dune on Stewart Island. The sites also contained early Polynesian artefacts and moa remains.

 

The scoria blocks found at Tautuku (South Otago, top), Stewart Island (bottom left) and Kings Rock (The Catlins, right). Photo / Anne Harlow, Otago Museum

Analysis of the blocks’ chemical composition showed they were unlike any volcanic rocks found in New Zealand — but almost identical to a marae stone found on the island of Mehetia, about 100km southeast of Tahiti in French Polynesia, and brought back to Otago Museum in the 1930s.

Karta FP Societe isl.PNG

The blocks are typical of volcanic rocks found around Tahiti but the lack of weathering suggested the scoria was produced by recent volcanic activity. Mehetia is the only volcano to have erupted in that part of the Pacific in the past 1000 years.

Mehetia is a volcanic island about 100km southeast of Tahiti in what is now French Polynesia. Photo / Tahiti Heritage

Based on that evidence Ramsay believed the blocks were marae stones brought to New Zealand by early Polynesian settlers from their ancestral home in the ”Hawaiki zone” and placed at different points of arrival in the southern South Island.

Intriguingly, Tahitian oral history tells of navigators stopping off at the sacred island of Mehetia before embarking on the long journey to New Zealand.

What I don’t think has been answered yet is why waka ventured south west, in contrast to the general migration flow east in the Pacific.

Also, did the waka migration target Aotearoa New Zealand?  It would seem odd if a significant number of people equipped for migration would have just set off in a particular direction with no knowledge of where they were going.

I think that it has to be likely that small scale explorations had been done in advance to confirm that there was significant land here, which would have meant a long voyage of discovery, and a return to Tahiti to deliver the news. It is known that Polynesians were expert navigators, but they would have needed to search a lot of ocean to find Aotearoa.

UN General Assembly officially endorses Global Compact on Migration

“The document, the first-ever negotiated global framework on a common approach to international migration in all its dimensions, was adopted by the General Assembly with 152 votes in favour, 12 abstentions, and five votes against, namely by the Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Poland, and the United States of America. An additional 24 Member States were not present to take part in the vote.

United Nations: General Assembly officially adopts roadmap for migrants to improve safety, ease suffering

The United Nations General Assembly officially endorsed the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration on Wednesday, a non-binding agreement adopted in Marrakech on 10 December by 164 Member States, and described by UN chief António Guterres as a “roadmap to prevent suffering and chaos”.

he UN Secretary-General explained in a statement released after the vote that the document “reaffirms the foundational principles of our global community, including national sovereignty and universal human rights, while pointing the way toward humane and sensible action to benefit countries of origin, transit and destination as well as migrants themselves”.

Mr. Guterres stressed that the Compact “calls for greater solidarity with migrants in situations of appalling vulnerability and abuse,” that it “underscores the need to anticipate future trends”, and that it “highlights the imperative of devising more legal pathways for migration.”

Louise Arbour, UN Special Representative for International Migration, who led the conference deliberations over the Compact in the Moroccan city of Marrakech last week, said that he formal endorsement “represents a resounding commitment to an international migration framework based on fact, not myth, and to an understanding that national migration policies are best implemented through cooperation not in isolation.”

The document, the first-ever negotiated global framework on a common approach to international migration in all its dimensions, was adopted by the General Assembly with 152 votes in favour, 12 abstentions, and five votes against, namely by the Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Poland, and the United States of America. An additional 24 Member States were not present to take part in the vote.

Though non-legally binding, the Compact is the outcome of a long negotiation process and provides a strong platform for cooperation on migration, drawing on best practice and international law.

Thanking all those who “helped to bring this landmark step to fruition,” including civil society, migrants, diaspora communities, the private sector, trade unions, academic experts and municipal leaders, the UN chief said he hoped the “countries that have chosen to remain outside the process will come to see the Compact’s value and join this venture”.

In statements explaining their decisions, countries that voted for the document stated often stressed the fact that this document is only a first step and that its realization will be where the work really starts. The sentiment was echoed by the UN chief who said that “leadership will be crucial in bringing the Compact to life, and in avoiding the myths and disparaging discourse that have become all too frequent”.

The UN Secretary-General noted that the United Nations, through the newly established UN Migration Network, stands ready to support Member States and all partners “to make migration work for all.”

 

Government to sign controversial UN Migration Compact

This looks a bit like a decision dumped at the end of the parliamentary year knowing that it could be controversial – Winston Peters has announced that the Government will support a UN Migration Compact after getting advice it won’t compromise New Zealand’s sovereignty.

If there is no problem why make the announcement now? Perhaps Peters thought it might compromise his and NZ First’s strong anti-immigration stance prior to them getting into power. That had already fizzled somewhat.

NZ First immigration policy (prior to last year’s election) included:

  • Stop the knee jerk annual immigration planning and start working on ten year and 25 year plans.
  • Create a new organisation to protect the integrity of New Zealand citizenship known as the Immigration Inspectorate.
  • Create an “undesirables” category, to ensure those from dangerous and unethical regimes are red-flagged before they get here.
  • Remove the capacity for New Zealand to even consider for refugee status, those with terrorism related convictions in other jurisdictions.
  • Make the Refugee Status Appeals Authority more directly responsible to Parliament.
  • Make DNA testing compulsory when any doubt exists over immigrant/refugee family relationships.
  • Refugee family reunification will be limited to spouses and immediate dependent siblings.
  • Consult New Zealanders about the make up of those coming here.

Peters has avoided talking about this UN Migration Compact until making this announcement, let alone consult with New Zealanders about it.

In particular:

  • New Zealand First will meet UN refugee obligation but believes humanitarian benevolence has been abused by family reunification policy.

NZ First’s tough stance on immigration seemed to be the attraction to voters, but things was whittled down to this in immigration in the Labour-NZ First Coalition agreement: As per Labour’s policy, pursue Labour and New Zealand First’s shared priorities to:

  • Ensure work visas issued reflect genuine skills shortages and cut down on low quality international education courses.
  • Take serious action on migrant exploitation, particularly of international students

The NZ First Party itself still wanted more vetting of potential immigrants. From their conference in September: NZ First members want migrants and refugees to sign to core values:

A remit to introduce a Respecting New Zealand Values Bill for migrants and refugees was passed by party members despite some opposition, and will now go to the caucus for policy consideration.

These values would include respect for gender equality, legal sexual preferences, freedom of religion and a commitment not to campaign against alcohol consumption.

New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell helped draft the bill and read out its intentions.

“New Zealand is a tolerant society. Our tolerance means that if an individual wants to immigrate to New Zealand, they must accept, respect and adhere to the tolerance our society expects,” it said.

“Immigrants must agree to respect New Zealand’s values and to live a life that demonstrates that they respect New Zealand values.”

From a NZ First announcement two days ago: Common sense approach to immigration welcomed

The Government is taking serious action on the immigration system to make it work better for New Zealand businesses and the regions.

Today’s announcement proposes introducing a new framework for assessing all employer-assisted temporary work visas and replacing the Essential Skills in Demand Lists with Regional Skills Shortage Lists.

“New Zealand First celebrates the end to the previous Government’s open borders approach which did not adequately address our skills shortages and put significant strain on our infrastructure,” says Mr Mitchell.

Also two days ago from Todd McClay, National’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Peters’ still hiding stance on Global Compact:

Winston Peters’ continued refusal to make a decision and tell the public what New Zealand’s position on the United Nations Global Compact on Migration is shameful, National’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“This morning the Prime Minister confirmed that a final decision is yet to be made on whether New Zealand is signing up to the Global Compact on Migration or not and we are all waiting on the Foreign Affairs Minister, Winston Peters, to make up his mind.

“It beggars belief that the Foreign Minister is still considering what New Zealand’s decision will be.

“The Government has been negotiating this agreement since February, and the Minister signed off on our negotiating position then. The Minister also received a final draft in July, and New Zealand attended the adoption meeting in Morocco last week and yet New Zealanders are still being kept in the dark.

“This is a serious matter. When New Zealand commits to frameworks such as these on the global stage, it is the public’s interests at stake.

“But even after weeks of questioning by National, the Government seems no closer to providing information on whether they will commit us to this United Nations framework

Also two days ago in Parliament’s question time  Labour’s David Parker spoke on behalf of Peters (Peters was in Washington):

10. Hon TODD McCLAY (National—Rotorua) to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Has he made a decision whether New Zealand will sign up to the United Nations global compact for migration?

Hon DAVID PARKER (Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs): On behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the member continues to display a fundamental misunderstanding of the diplomatic processes that apply. There is no document to be signed; there is a vote.

Hon Todd McClay: Why has the Government not yet been able to make a decision, given he has had the draft text of the UN compact since July?

Hon DAVID PARKER: On behalf of the Minister, because we are carefully checking all of the facts, including the irresponsible and incorrect assertions that this somehow curbs the sovereignty of countries that vote for the compact.

Hon Todd McClay: Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs confirm that the Government have been negotiating the compact since February, they’ve had the draft text since July, adopted it in Morocco last week, and are actually just keeping Kiwis in the dark until after Parliament has lifted for the summer recess?

Hon DAVID PARKER: On behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, no. I can confirm that the gymnastics of the Opposition, who signed up to the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants on—

Hon Gerry Brownlee: Stop telling lies.

Hon Todd McClay: Was the Prime Minister correct on NewstalkZB this morning when she said that it’s Winston Peters who would be making the decision to sign the UN compact later this week and not Cabinet?

Hon DAVID PARKER: I have seen the transcript of that interview, and that is an improper characterisation of it. [Interruption] It’s an incorrect characterisation of it.

Hon Todd McClay: Does he agree with the statement that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Peters, made to media that the problem with these non-binding agreements is over time they become binding; and, if so, will he inform his Cabinet colleagues of his long-held position on UN agreements?

Hon DAVID PARKER: …The first point to make would be that I’m sure that the Minister of Foreign Affairs was speaking in respect of treaties. This is not a treaty. The second point I would make is that the reversal by the National Party on its earlier position is desperate, opportunist flip-flop, which appears to show that the National Party takeover by Judith Collins is just about complete.

This demonstrates the contentious nature of the UN Compact on Migration.

Yesterday’s announcement:

Government legal advice says UN Migration Compact doesn’t compromise sovereignty

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand will support the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration after being satisfied fears about the document are unfounded.

“The Government would not support the UN compact if it compromised New Zealand’s sovereignty or could in any way take precedence over our immigration or domestic laws. But the compact does not do that,” said Mr Peters.

“The Crown Law Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade have provided legal advice which confirms this UN cooperation framework is neither legally binding nor constraining on this country setting its own migration policies.”

Specifically the legal advice has stated that:

  • The compact is non-legally binding and does not create legal obligations;
  • It does not establish customary international law;
  • The compact should not be taken to give the legal instruments referred to in the text as having any binding effect that those instruments do not already have in international law;
  • It reaffirms the sovereign right of States to determine national immigration policy and laws and that States have the sole authority to distinguish between regular and irregular migratory status;
  • The compact does not establish any new human rights law, nor create any new categories of migrants, nor establish a right to migrate.
  • The compact in no way restricts or curtails established human rights, including the right to freedom of expression.

“The legal advice from Crown Law is not surprising but is important advice in debunking falsehoods or misguided perceptions being spread about the implications of this framework,” said Mr Peters.

“We are aware that the statements of other countries voting in support of the compact, such as the United Kingdom, are underpinned by legal advice supporting their positions.”

“In the end, New Zealand will be voting for a cooperation framework that was clearly set out at the start of the compact’s negotiations process in 2016 when the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants was unanimously adopted by all UN member states, including New Zealand under the previous government,” said Mr Peters.

“New Zealand is voting for the Compact because we support greater efforts in controlling migration issues while also being confident our own sovereign decision making isn’t compromised,” he said.

Reaction from Simon Bridges from NZ to vote in favour of UN Migration Compact (NZH):

National leader Simon Bridges has said the compact treats legal and illegal migration in the same way.

“There is no automatic right to migrate to another country without that country’s full agreement, a view which the UN’s Global Compact on Migration seeks to counter.

“While not binding, the compact could restrict the ability of future governments to set immigration and foreign policy, and to decide on which migrants are welcome and which aren’t.”

Newstalk ZB (audio): Misinformation around the UN migration compact is wrong

“It does not mean that you have a right to migrate, it does mean that your sovereignty is in any way compromised, and it does not mean that this overrides or prevails over the immigration law of any one country.”

The Free Speech Coalition says the UN Compact for Migration prohibits all critical speech of open-border migration, and encourages reporters to be educated on migration terminology. They say that’s unjustifiable in a free society.

But Peters says they haven’t read the whole thing.

“It begins by saying this, this and this, and it reaffirms that the media have the utmost right to practice their trade, free without fodder from politicians or governments.”

Peters says that in their statement to the United Nations tomorrow morning our time, they will be making it clear how New Zealand is interpreting the compact.

Countries can interpret the compact however they like? That seems odd.

And does it leave it open to future New Zealand governments to re-interpret it?

Signing the UN Compact is probably not an achievement that Peters will be campaigning on next election.

‘Progress will prevail’

Today’s Herald editorial talks of A year marked by backward steps – naming flag change and TPP failures as well as Brexit and Trump – but thinks that progress will prevail.

Here:

New Zealand, like all postcolonial countries, is on an inevitable trajectory of independence and even the most ardent traditionalists know it.

In time, the replacement of its flag will be one of the easier changes it makes. In time, the very name of the nation will probably change too.

Probably, but it may take some time. I’m not confident of all of flag change, name change and establishing a comprehensive constitution happening in my lifetime given the lack of maturity evident with the flag debate which was dominated by petty politics.

Worldwide:

The US election, too, was a re-assertion of nationalism, not just in economics and trade but in culture and ethnicity. Many have taken fright at the scale of migration in the modern, more integrated world.

But threats from migration have been overstated and the benefits not acknowledged by demagogues who have succeeded in politics this year. Migration is needed by most developed countries with ageing populations and birth rates below replacement level.

More important, migration enriches the receiving countries economically and culturally. Life is more better for the variety of skills, tastes and interests migrants bring.

Democracies have succumbed to fear this year because of terrorism from the Muslim world. Even the US, facing a fraction of the numbers pressing on the EU’s borders, has been unnerved.

But fear is not humanity’s natural state. We are an optimistic species and progress will prevail.

The problems with immigration and Muslim terrorism and refugees won’t disappear by shutting borders (when has a country ever thrived by shutting itself off from the rest of the world?) and taking wide scale punitive action.

Overall in the world progress has prevailed for a long time so there’s good reason to be optimistic progress will continue.

So far this century has been far safer than the last for the majority of humans, and the overall standard of living has improved.

Take poverty (a much discussed topic this year in New Zealand):

worldpovertytrends

Data source: World Poverty in absolute numbers (Max Roser based on World Bank and Bourguignon and Morrisson (2002))
OurWorldInData.org/a-history-of-global-living-conditions-in-5-charts/ CC BY-SA

We have to be optimistic that we can continue to progress. There will be setbacks but overall we have to hope and try for better.

Most Chinese, Indian migrants go to Auckland

There are now more migrants coming to New Zealand from both China and India than there are from the UK. And most of the Asian immigrants settle in Auckland.

Migration to regional parts of New Zealand hasn’t gone down much, but Asian migration to Auckland has gone up substantially.

This means that more than ever Auckland is demographically quite different to much of the rest of the country.

NZ Herald: The Big Read: Why are migrants snubbing NZ’s regions?

That headline is misleading, it is mainly Asian migrants ‘snubbing’ the regions – and it’s simply because they prefer to settle in Auckland.

New settlers from Asia are giving the regions a wide berth, with migrants from the two main source countries preferring to set up home in Auckland.

Measures aimed at improving the spread of migrants across New Zealand were introduced last November, but new data reveals that seven in 10 migrants from China – the country’s largest source of permanent migrants – are not opting to live anywhere else but Auckland.

AUT University Professor of Population Geography Richard Bedford said New Zealand’s largest city is the preferred choice for migrants from China, India and other Asian countries.

“They concentrate on Auckland because of the sorts of work they want, the concentrations of their co-ethnics and, for Indians and Chinese, this is New Zealand’s only sizeable city,” Professor Bedford said.

Auckland is sizeable compared to the rest of New Zealand but is still quite small compared to major cities around the world.

  • Auckland 1.5 million
  • Sydney 5 million
  • Melbourne 4.4 million
  • Brisbane 2.3 million (South East Queensland 3.4 million)
  • Beijing metropolitan 25 million
  • Shanghai 24.2 million
  • Delhi 16.7 million
  • Mumbai 12.5 million
  • Shenzen 10.5 million

– approximate and depends on how a city area is defined

In List of cities proper by population (Wikipedia) it lists 90 cities of over 3 million population, with 27 being in China and 10 in India.

“The migrants from Western countries tend to be attracted to the same things as New Zealanders, after all, they are not just coming to NZ to work in Auckland,” said Professor Bedford.

But with China now displacing the UK as the main source country for migrants, and more migrants coming from Asia, Auckland will become more cosmopolitan and diverse, while the regions remain largely “white”.

“The smaller towns and rural parts of the country will have populations that are closer to the national average in terms of diversity, and some places will be very heavily dominated by people of European and Maori ethnicities,” Professor Bedford added.

So you choose much more ethnic diversity and much higher property prices in Auckland or go live somewhere else in New Zealand.