A view of the landing on Ripiro Beach by Greek Warriors 5000 years ago

Here's my version of New Zealand History for ya. I mean come on Greek Warriors came to New Zealand 5000 years ago?? And I'm a Village Idiot or it's an Alien Conspiracy?


Am I supposed to believe this? Greeks arrived before the Maori in New Zealand?

"This political correctness crap which is so undemocratic has stopped me from speaking out for long enough. It's been a big cover up."
- Noel Hilliam (Historian and Marine archeologist) Interview in the Dargaville & District News 10 November 2010

The above caught my attention this morning when I received my copy of the weekly Dargaville & Districts News.

There it was with the headliner 'Maori weren't first says book' According to Noel Hillian who has written a yet to be published book titled "To the Ends of The Earth' 'Greeks, followed by 'three other ethnic groups arrived before the Maori Migration'.

Apparently this claim is supported by 'earth shattering evidence to prove it'. Further the article goes on to quote Mr Hilliam as saying that his book 'is being published to tell the early history of the settlement of New Zealand' He goes on further to elaborate the ' he has evidence dating back 5000 years, and believes further proof may be evident in the genetic makeup of some of the Dargaville Maori'.

He claims further that 'so many Maori names are actually Spanish and Portuguese. A lot of these people do not know their true background'. Excuse me? Then the Whakapapa I have in my possession for my Kaitahu ancestors is a forgery? Or perhaps they 'did not understand their true origins' after all?

I can trace my ancestry back beyond Kupe to the ancestors at Hawaiki there is no mention anywhere of any 'Spanish' or 'Portuguese' type names anywhere to be found.

In short I find it very hard to believe, that despite there being a strong indication of Maori occupancy in New Zealand for at least 2000 years, that suddenly, we have ancient greeks, spanish and portuguese being the first to settle the Shaky Isles.

Am I an ignorant Philistine here? Should I take this seriously? Has an expert in ancient languages been engaged to do a detailed indepth study of Maori language and place names?

I'm of the mind I have to place this in the category of the 'Aliens Built the Pyramids ' Section of my brain compartment.

There is nothing politically correct about my opinion on this at all. I disagree strongly. If the proper and true scientific and archeological evidence can be produced by those in that field, then perhaps, I might change my point of view. But at this stage - it's little more than pseudo history and I can't take this as proven fact.

Psuedo History is a damaging and dangerous thing to my mind. I'll go back under my rock now and keep any further opinions to my self.

I actually like Mr Hilliam - but on this I cannot agree with him at all. Nor do I like the patronising tone that my ancestors did not understand their own origins. Yes they did and still do.

I rest my case. What do you think? Opinions are welcome.

Training and not age key to safer drivers, MP’s told

Federated Farmers has told the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee considering the Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Amendment Bill and the Land Transport (Road Safety & Other Matters) Amendment Bill that driver education should be based on structured training and not an arbitrary age.

“In reality, what’s being proposed is an increase in the unsupervised driving age from 15 and a half to 17 years – not 16 as many people seem to think,” says Donald Aubrey, Federated Farmers transport spokesperson.

“Somehow the debate has become about attributing maturity to age instead of ability.

“Without a shred of evidence, this change seems more based on hunches and causational links that you’ll be a safer driver because you’re 18-months older.

“We told the Select Committee that what Federated Farmers wanted was a much greater focus on the learner period. That includes extending the learner driver period from six months to one year.

“Training needs to occur at a time when young people are impressionable, teachable and focussed. Supervision, experience and structured training are much greater determinants for creating safer drivers than just your birthdate.

“All the statistics show that the learner license period is the safest period of a driver’s life. The accident spike comes when drivers obtain their restricted license and drive solo. That’s why we also support the graduated driver licensing system.

“I honestly feel driver training and licensing should learn from the structured training private pilots undergo.

“I mean, isn’t it odd that we’ll trust a student pilot to solo in a Piper Cherokee at age 16, but we won’t trust them with the Corolla to get to the aerodrome?

“While Federated Farmers supports a zero alcohol limit for drivers under the age 20, Parliament is moving to close up the legal ages for driving and legal drinking. That’s a recipe for disaster in our eyes.

“While we downplayed the effect on rural children and rural families in our submission, because there are compelling reasons for leaving the age and making training more rigorous, there will be a big impact.

“Public transport is feasible in Wellington but not in places like Waitomo,” Mr Aubrey concluded.



A move to online entries is proving an early success for organisers of the 2011 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.

National convenor Chris Keeping says 86 entries had been received online exactly one week after entries had opened – blitzing previous years in terms of the number of entries received in the first week.

“We have been amazed by the response. The move to online entry is proving to be a bonanza for the awards. It’s hard to believe we are about 800% up on entries than we were this time last year when we’d had only 11 entries. The year before we only received two entries in the first week.

“It’s a great result and a trend that we hope will continue. All these entrants will also be eligible for our early bird entry prize of a $4000 Honda farm bike, so there’s a good incentive to get in early.”

The New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions are run under the auspices of the awards.

The awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles NZ, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown and RD1, along with industry partner Agriculture ITO.

A total of 508 entries were received in this year’s awards and organisers hope a similar number will enter the 2011 awards before entries close on December 24.

Entries are being received online at www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.

Obama’s new climate

With the United States becoming the latest country to abandon emissions trading, Federated Farmers is asking the Government to focus on the efforts of other countries, in the terms of reference for the 2011 review of climate change policies.

“Given the Obama Administration has abandoned plans for a ‘cap and trade’ system akin to our Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), ours being the most severe in the world, do we really wish to be in a club of one?” asks Don Nicolson, Federated Farmers President.

“We’ve had plenty of commitments from the Government that agriculture will not be in the ETS, if our trading partners don’t follow suit. With President Obama’s decision today, when will our legislation be amended to give that commitment effect?

“The thing is that there seems to be a bureaucratic reality and a trading reality. In the bureaucratic world, our ETS ‘adds immeasurable value to all exports’, but in the trading world, into which our exporters sell, we’re told it doesn’t.

“That’s not to say we don’t think anything should be done. But the bureaucrats advising Government need to get over themselves. They need face up to the reality that the world has moved on. Reality is expressed in the number of countries following New Zealand’s example.

“In June, at our National Conference, I highlighted the Hartwell Paper by Professors Gwyn Prins of the London School of Economics and Mike Hulme of the University of East Anglia.

“Those eminent academics concluded it was impossible to have emissions reduction as the all-encompassing and driving goal. Kyoto couldn’t work and events have proven them right.

“Instead of subsidising carbon units that enrich a select few, they called for public investment into clean energy technologies. I’ve seen this in China. This isn’t about forcing the public to change, but changing what the public use.

“Ironically, it was the global economic meltdown that jolted the world into realising they’d faced one bubble, called sub-prime, only to start a new one with carbon emissions units.

“Given President Obama’s new climate, the Washington Post reports that a senior European official believes the Cancun talks in Mexico should now focus on a voluntary international framework instead.

“New Zealand can show leadership by pushing for research into developing viable clean technologies. And we’re doing that right now with agriculture greenhouse research.

“Federated Farmers has always been pro-research because that’s an area we can make a real difference in and goes to the heart of efficient resource use,” Mr Nicolson concluded.


‘Get a real job like farming,’ Federated Farmers advises protestors

8 November 2010

‘Get a real job like farming,’ Federated Farmers advises protestors

Federated Farmers has brushed off the small number of protestors opposing the International Dairy Federation (IDF) World Dairy Summit 2010, in Auckland today.

“Every protestor I saw was outnumbered heavily by delegates,” says Lachlan McKenzie, Federated Farmers Dairy chairperson.

“Since the IDF World Dairy Summit is about food production these protestors are now anti-food. I honestly think very few know why they’re there, aside from opposing anything carrying the ‘I’, or ‘international’ word in it.

“If these protestors oppose a conference that will help lift global dairy production, then what next? Opposing the Rugby World Cup due to its link with long-haul air travel carbon emissions?

“You really feel like saying to this rent-a-mob, ‘get a real job,’ like farming.

“Federated Farmers and delegates are at the IDF World Dairy Summit to learn about smarter and more sustainable dairy farming.

“Given the global population will expand by a third over the next four decades, if we don’t want wars triggered by hunger, then we need to produce a lot more food, including milk.

“The New Zealand farming system is about optimal resource use and by focusing on that, the environmental footprint goes down. Compared to where we were when I was a lad, we’re streets ahead environmentally.

“New Zealand also has a great story to tell our overseas colleagues. Unsubsidised, dairy production growth per cow has averaged some 26 percent since 1990. We’re chasing the right stocking rate for our farms instead of chasing subsidies.

“While New Zealand is a small food producer in global terms, we happen to be a major food exporter. We’re actually number two for dairy. But to meet future population growth we all need to become better.

“It’s why the World Dairy Summit gives us an opportunity to learn about efficient farming practices - making more food from fewer inputs, generating fewer emissions.

“As for sustainability, Kiwis know that the United Nation’s called it right last week by naming New Zealand the third best country to live in. Not only have that, but Columbia and Yale Universities ranked New Zealand second in the world for overall water quality.

“So instead of protesting outside, perhaps they ought to take up farming and do something positive instead,” Mr McKenzie concluded.

Research shows that redback spiders could spread further in New Zealand

Research shows that redback spiders could spread further in New Zealand

Research published this month in the international journal Biological Invasions shows that Australian redback spiders (Latrodectus hasseltii), which are already established in Central Otago and New Plymouth, could become established in many other parts of New Zealand, particularly urban areas around major ports.

AgResearch scientists Dr Cor Vink and Dr Craig Phillips are developing new approaches and tools to ensure harmful organisms are kept out of New Zealand. As part of this work they recorded sightings of redback spiders in New Zealand, then used biological and climatic information to reveal where redbacks could establish.

“Warm, dry conditions in some eastern areas of New Zealand are suitable for redback spiders to become established,” says Dr Vink. “The redback is likely to spread further in New Zealand than we expected. We originally thought the spiders couldn’t establish in even moderately wet climates, but they are surviving in places with relatively high rainfall like New Plymouth. ”The research strongly suggests that where there is shelter from rain, particularly in urban areas, redbacks can establish and survive. Spread of redbacks is likely to arise from the establishment of new invasions, rather than the spread of existing populations which have been here for some years.

“However, currently the distribution of redback spiders in New Zealand is still very limited, they are not aggressive, and eradication of geographically-limited populations may be possible,” said Dr Vink.

Dr Vink says redbacks could have negative impacts on endemic insects and spiders. For example, Otago redbacks are feeding on an endangered species of chafer beetle present only around Alexandra and have been found in and near the Cromwell Chafer Reserve. There is also genetic evidence that redbacks have interbred with protected, endemic katipo near Gisborne. There is also a real danger that redbacks could competitively displace katipo or cause extinction by interbreeding. There is a chance that redbacks could kill endangered skinks in Central Otago as redbacks have been shown to capture and kill lizards in Australia.

Dr Vink says that having redbacks in New Zealand is also significant to public health because they have the potential to become established in a number of areas that are close to urban populations. If this happened there would need to be public education of the dangers of these spiders.

“Our research shows that surveillance for redback spiders needs to be continued at major ports where cargo from Australia is unloaded,” said Dr Vink. Successful border control already produces regular interceptions of the redback as well as interceptions of the invasive brown widow and the western black widow. Both these species are related to the redback and all share a preference to similar habitat and climate requirements.

This research is part of Better Border Biosecurity, a large multi-partner 12 year science programme funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.

Suitability of major urban areas to redback establishment

Urban Area
















New Plymouth




Palmerston North














Link to the article published in Biological Invasions Journal http://www.citeulike.org/article/8125529

Joined-up approach to ATV safety backed

Federated Farmers is backing the Department of Labour’s (DoL) launch of a campaign to raise awareness of quad bike/ATV safety. The event was launched at the Mystery Creek Events Centre on November 3 by the Minister of Labour, the Hon Kate Wilkinson MP.

“It’s been a while since we had a coordinated ATV safety programme like this and it’s most welcome,” says Donald Aubrey, Federated Farmers Vice-President and Chair of the Agricultural Health and Safety Council, who was represented at the launch, by Stew Wadey, Federated Farmers Waikato provincial president.

“The lesson we’ve learnt is that safety education is not a one-off exercise, due to the natural turnover of farm workers. It needs to be on-going just like it is with road safety.

“Like with road safety we see it as education and training led. Prosecution, the ultimate DoL sanction, is like shutting the gate after the horse has bolted. This is about preventing accidents occurring in the first place.

“Federated Farmers, the Agricultural Health and Safety Council and FarmSafe are all fully behind the DoL on this and genuinely commend the Department for its efforts.

“ATV’s have become the farmer’s ‘Swiss Army knife’, being horse, trail bike and light tractor all in one. This multi-use nature of ATV’s can see them pushed beyond their design limits.

“Yet, we must ensure that recreational and tourism operators heed these messages as well. While ATV’s are farm implements, a majority of ATV accidents aren’t farm work related.

“The campaign has four major points. First, users must be trained and experienced in an ATV's use. Second, the right vehicle must be chosen for the right job – it’s about knowing limits. Third, helmets are a life-saver and fourthly, children should not ride adult ATV’s.

“These are consistent messages carried in the Quad Bike Safety Guide, which was developed by ACC and endorsed by the Agricultural Health and Safety Council.

“On top of this, Federated Farmers is on the lookout for new initiatives. We’ve started this by raising the profile of Personal Locator Beacons for those working in remote locations.

“We’re also looking at taking to the DoL, a proposal to trial rollover warning systems developed by an American company that fits with our type of typography. Such a system could overcome a loss of balance revealed in an Otago University study, when riding over rough terrain.

“Education, training and technology could help cut injuries and fatalities associated with ATV’s,” Mr Aubrey concluded.


Entries are now being accepted in the 2011 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards – the New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year.

National Convenor Chris Keeping says in a first for the awards, all entries will be completed online at www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.

“We’ve already announced significant changes to some of our competitions this year to ensure they remain as fair and open to as many people as possible. The change to online entry reflects the need to keep up with technology and be savvier in the way we operate. Let’s face it; no one likes piles of paperwork these days!”

Mrs Keeping says online entry has been available for the past two years and the number of entrants entering online had increased markedly during that period – from about 20% to more than 60%.

“We were initially concerned some potential entrants may not be able to access the internet or be comfortable with completing their entry online, but our competition convenors, sponsors and organisers are all unanimous that online entry offers huge benefits.

“Everyone will go out of the way to ensure people who want to enter the awards will be able to do so, online. We have made it as easy as possible.”

The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles NZ, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown and RD1, along with industry partner Agriculture ITO.

Mrs Keeping says entrants first enter one of 12 regional competitions being held around the country. The three winners from each of those regional competitions will then progress to the national final, which will be held in Queenstown in May next year.

More than 500 people entered the awards in 2010. More information on the awards can be found at www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.