Ancient Celtic / Scottish Viking sites in New Zealand

The woman on the left side of the coat of arms...
The woman on the left side of the coat of arms of New Zealand is Zealandia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ancient Celtic / Scottish
Viking sites

in New Zealand!(?) (Last Update 11/10/2003)


Unbelievable to orthodox historical opinion? Yes! But so were any New Zealand dinosaurs thirty or so years ago. Now there are many books on such creatures and they have been accepted by orthodox institutions in NZ.

So what is the probability of old pre-Maori, Celtic sites?

If you have an open and inquiring mind there are many facts, artifacts and oral and written histories that confirm the existence of pre-Maori populations in NZ. Our archaeology has yet to be properly investigated by archaeologists that do not have pre-conceived or politically motivated agendas.

Very ancient written records in Europe and the old world confirm knowledge that New Zealand and Australia existed. However getting access to and acknowledgement of these records is difficult. Concocted historical opinion has been based on deliberate intent to discredit and cover up such knowledge. NZ and Australia are not the only countries bound up by such conspiracies. However this article is about a particular NZ example, with some general observations thrown in.

The following is an example of an oral history supported by records held in Scotland. A book about this particular story, with supporting documentation is due for release sometime in the year 2000. As information is slowly released and clarified the story on this page is kept updated. For now it is simply an interesting saga with all the intrigue, and bravery of any Icelandic Saga. The heroes in it eventually suffer horrific deaths though this does not prevent their genes from carrying on generation after generation in a new land. In that, perhaps it was a more successful settlement than was the Viking settlement at Brattahild in Greenland.

(Taine Rory Mhor ) Taine Ruaridh Mhor (the big cattle farmer) was delivered by three seagoing longships (birlinns?) to NZ in the 12th Century, with 95 of his family and kinfolk and followers. And sons Rory and Ruaridh. It was deliberate but not by choice. Banishment was not an uncommon feature of the times and in this case the term was for seven generations after he had been incacerated in a dungeon for three years already by his friend King Alexander I of Scotland (reigned 1107-1124AD). Both Islands of New Zealand were chosen because one of the criteria was that the land for the banishment had to be uninhabited at the time (? this seems strange). After 160 years (7 + 1 generations), Scots/Vikings (there were three ships, two of whose captains were Johansen and Christiansen – though the names are Nordic Scandinavian they were probably based in the Firth of Forth) were requested by folk in Scotland to call and see if any of Taine’s people had survived. This would have been probably just after the reign of King Alexander III of Scotland (reigned 1249-1286) and during the reign of Edward I of England. He invaded Scotland in 1296. This was a turbulent time in Scotland. It was the time of Wallace, of Bruce, the battles of Stirling Bridge and Falkirk. The execution of Wallace and eventually the Coronation of Robert the Bruce and leading up to the battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Times perhaps when no-one had the time or resources to maintain communication with kinfolk a world away. So back to the story.
Men in Taine’s lineage were often well over 7 foot tall and generally had red hair, blue eyes and fair complexions. They had been provided with a very small number of sheep and cattle, and enough provisions to last three months, but no tools. Why such treatment was metted out remains the knowledge of modern descendants. The survival of Taine’s group was initially in their own hands and by the will of God. Their existence was meagre. Eventually some tools were obtained by trade with visiting Portuguese, and the colony grew. It is said Taine was responsible for introducing particular trees and that there may be connection between Taine and “Tane” the name used by Maoris for the God of the forest. Taine in old Gaelic is apparently pronounced the same as Tane in Maori.

(The written Maori language is just an Anglicised/Germanic spelling of the oral language Maoris were using when the English language oriented modern European settlement started. Early European documents and manuscriptions use quite different spellings for many Maori words and it is only through later standardisation that current spellings are used.)

The story goes that after sailing from somewhere on the east coast of Scotland (probably Perth/Fifeshire) the fleet of three ships sailed north ot Orkney. They then sailed the length of the Atlantic and around the south of Africa. The voyagers passed by the Australian coast indicated by a large land with a lack of fresh water and the presence of black people. The aim of the voyage was to deposit the people being banished in unpopulated land. The voyagers then reached what is now New Zealand and passed through what is now Cook Strait. This determined there were two separate pieces of land. The voyage then continued south and around the southern reaches of the South island until the land that was similar to Thule (ie Norway and also land west of Greenland and North of Baffin island). This is New Zealands region of fjords now known as Fiordland and it was passed as they again sailed north. They came to a region that had recently been subjected to earthquakes, such that much rock had fallen from high mountains. The outward journey had taken many weeks. On passing the worst of the earthquake damage they came to a narrow coastal plain from which the mountains rose steeply, but which permitted sufficient room between mountains and sea to set up a settlement. The cattle were able to be there without being able to wander away – the mountains behind, the sea in front and streams to north and south prevented wandering. There was plentiful loose rock suitable for building a dwelling in the style of a Scottish black house capable of housing 45 people plus animals. (In a black house the cattle occupied one end of the dwelling and the people the other which had a hearth usually no chimney or windows. The roof of such dwellings were vegetation over beams covered by turf – often quite thick. Smoke from the fire was often just left to filter out through the roof rather than having a full open chimney. This smoky environment provides inhabitants some protection from sandflies/biting midges as would definately be required in South Westland). An alternative temporary dwelling may have made by the typical method of overturning one of the Viking ships and supporting it on two rows of rocks which follow the lines of the ships strakes thus leaving the outline of a boat. This style is common wherever Vikings or seafarers of the time had stop overs. As there were 90 people to be settled in two separate places in the new land, when the initial dwelling was complete, it was time to leave 45 behind with their share of the animals and to take the other 45 north to the other separate piece of land (now known as the North Island). The two troublesome sons Rory and Ruaridh were to be separated and not to have any means of communication. A settlement was established in the North Island and it is quite possible a place somewhere near Kawhia or Raglan was chosen (or even further north near the Hokianga Harbour). The journal of the voyage indicates Mt Egmont (or Taranaki – it is possible Tara naki has gaelic roots, “tara” meaning a high place in gaelic) had smoke coming from it. Being aware what volcanoes could do, the voyagers with the second group of 45 proceeded further north for safety. There is sufficient evidence in the Kawhia Raglan region to suggest the probability of initial settlement in this area, but only the opportunity and execution of open archaeological investigation can confirm this.

(On suggesting lingual remnants within the Maori language of Gaelic/Celtic influences – such as “Tara”. It could be mentioned that places such as Manaia peak at Whangarei Heads could also have an element of Gaelic linguistics. Possibly from the later Gaelic settlers from Nova Scotia, but who knows?. How far had a previous Gaelic or Scots lingo contributed to the language of pre-1800 European folk in this country? We could add Portuguese and Spanish to such a query.)

With both groups provided with a dwelling and their animals, plus some plants and seeds, they were now abandoned to the will of God and their ability to survive. The delivery ships sailed off to return to Scotland. The plants were the Orkney Beech (now extinct in Orkney and on the Scottish mainland – was this the tree called “iron wood” that Cumberlands men so effectively eliminated from Scotland?), the Rowan tree and the linen flax plant. There were also rye, oats, barley and probably the grain called beer in Scotland, as well a some grasses (seed) that would help nourish the cattle. Some grass seeds were also used for medicinal purposes and nettle would have been included (nettle grows in the NZ scrub and bushlands to this day).

The first settlement suffered immensely from incessant rains and was ultimately abandoned for better conditions further north. But it was a long time before communication between the two separate groups was achieved as the lack of tools meant conditions and any seacraft were very primitive until the opportunity for trade occurred – which it did with other voyagers (Portuguese?).

So began possibly the first European settlement of NZ. Genetic traces of these Scots folk are still evident in Maori – those of tall stature, red hair and fairer skin, even blue eyes. Often thought to be of modern European Maori interbreeding. Old Maori well know of this older genetic trait that predates modern European settlement by many generations.

As for voyagers across the Indian Ocean reaching the shores of NZ? The west coast of NZ is littered with ancient boat timbers. Those of Spanish or Portuguese caravels, possibly even Phonecian and Egyptian craft and even others. Even helmets, breast plates, and a tamil bell have been found. It appears that these early Scots eventually traded with Portuguese. So what is the honest and real history of our land? We haven’t looked closely or intelligently enough and it seems if it is left to the Government and Official historians we’ll all be left in the dark for ever.

NZ apparently had at least 4 different peoples living in peace (Waitaha constituent peoples), until the arrival of the later incoming aggressors and cannibals. Even so after 8 generations the returning ships commanded by captains with Viking names found Taine’s people. They had survived and even prospered. The ships eventually returned to Scotland with some of the young men, descendants of Taine and his exiles. Some returned to NZ with wives they had taken in Scotland (dates around 1283-92AD). Some remained in Scotland with the written records. These records still exist and are carefully preserved. The incoming aggressors and cannibals seem to have eventually succeeded in driving just about all larger forms of life on the islands to extinction. Birds such as the Moa and Huia and even the four varieties of the original human inhabitants in a combination of cannibalism, enslavement and interbreeding / rapine . Will Maoritanga be considered such a benign institution and worthy social form when the time comes to reveal the the truths? The time grows near.

Click here to see ancient settlement site photos
Remains of a typical Scottish/Celtic homestead. (from 12th Century New Zealand?) A modern native NZ Scottish/Celt surveys the ruins. Drystone walls have been pushed out and over. The typical hearthstone, the rock for the family’s patron saint, the rock on which the dwellings protective God would have sat, and others are all still in traditional and recogniseable positions. Other such remains abound. This site is now difficult to reach by sea and little known. The original boat access is much changed and boat access is best achieved from an adjacent bay. It is also in the vicinity of a town, possibly of underground Scara-brae style dwellings, ancient Scottish/Celtic graves and sites of genocide and other atrocities.


(Above) A town of dwellings similar to the typical Scara-Brae variety, but in NZ!? Houses were constructed from stone walls and stone roofs. Over these an overburden of rock, soil and grass was placed. This provided protection from the weather, grazing for stock, and camouflage from the cannibals that grew to power at a much later stage after establishment of the community.

According to one source, this is possibly a site where some of Taine’s descendants may have lived before being enslaved and devoured by cannibals. Atrocities perpetrated at this site seem to have included the stealing of women. Insight at one grave (pit) indicated small children between the ages of 2 and 6 or so had been buried alive. It appears possible their mothers were taken, their fathers and brothers probably killed, and eaten. It has been recorded that the perpetrators of such atrocities often staked women to the ground through their feet so they could not run away. They were then apparently forced to watch horrific cannibal feasting on their kin (usually while the person being eaten was still alive – the more usual situation while pieces were cut off and then cooked or consumed raw) while being subjected to repeated rape. May God have mercy on all their souls, perpetrator and victim alike, and may we thank God that such times in this country have long since past. (When one actually consideres how long ago, it is only since the mid 1800’s that cannibalism really ceased. Some quarters consider generational curses associated with human consumption are not cleared until the 7th generation later. So from some perspectives many people in NZ society descended from folk who indulged in cannibalism, possibly still suffer from such curses).

Activities such as the above are not unique to Maoris. It should be pointed out that atrocities of similar kind were also recorded as having been perpetrated by Celts during invasions of other lands such as Asia Minor (now Turkey). Head hunting of oponents and canibalism of young children etc having been mentioned by classical historians. There remains archaeological evidence of such and we have much to be pleased about that these things are reviled today. It is also an activity that was once reported to be widespread in the Pacific. We cannot conceal such did occur, there and much more recently here in NZ, even well into the 1800’s.

Should descendants of the perpetrators of such heinous crimes as mentioned above, have been displaced from lands acquired by such barbaric methods? Should such people cry foul over land they “sold” to European settlers, or perhaps had confiscated, yet suffered little more than a perceived loss of dignity and access to land they never husbanded or owned? What recompense for their victims? The people removed by murder, rapine and desolation of the worst kind? Dubious land claims recognised by the Waitangi Tribunal have not addressed the situation that will arise when descendants of the early Scottish settlers make their legitimate claims as the original indigenous population. Their documented history of possession starting in the 11th Century when the land had NO other inhabitants will be revealed! Similar claims could no doubt be made against Maori by descendants of Waitaha, Moriori, by Portuguese settlers, even by the Patu-paiarehe or Turehu if any still remain alive. (And strangely enough it seems there may have been reasonably recent sightings of these folk.). How far back do we go do we go to make restitutions? Is the Waitangi tribunal acting out of fairness or has it become rampant revenge on the part of some Maori? Or a means to entrench a Maori aristocracy to overlord it’s graft and corruption into a society already labouring under other inequities? Not all the inhabitants of the lands we know as New Zealand were even given the oportunity to view, negotiate or sign the Treaty. Where are the Moriori, Turehu, Patupaiarehe and Waitaha signatories? Unfortunately utu begets utu and ultimately all Maori may lose face and mana as more damming reasons for revenge are found on behalf of the earlier Celtic settlers. Forgiveness is much more appropriate, but some Maori entities, fully aware of the past are seriously endeavouring to destroy all evidence in artifact, land and access, that could re-establish common knowledge of the earlier groups of ‘indigenous’ peoples – the real Tangata Whenua!. It is interesting to learn that the term Maori only gained recognition during the 1800’s and that prior to the expansion of European settlement, the term Tangata Whenua was used by Maori to refer to peoples here before they arrived!

There is much to be resolved, and much much more to be uncovered in New Zealand. Government agencies and Maori alike may think they have gained control but God has ways and means of correcting injustices. Patience, though it wears thin, has it rewards. To lost souls the wait may seem to take forever, but they are always soothed and welcomed by God when redeemed by love and blessings and kinfolk with forgiveness and reconciliation on their hearts, in Jesus name. God is the Judge and His judgement is final. Who will suffer most from loss of mana in this world when the truth is revealed? If the truth is handled openly the past can be let go through understanding and forgiveness.

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

Content Catnip

Quirky internet wunderkammer

The Claire Violet Thorpe Express

Home of everything relating to writing (and funny pictures of toys)

Just Stimming...

A land we can share (a place I can map)

Turbokitty's Blog


Imperator Fish

A blog about the media, the law, politics, and big fish


Stuff worth sharing


Looking for choice morsels of currents affairs, culture, and politics to chew on. Or spit out hastily. It depends.

Nonoy Manga

Manga, Hand Drawn, Animation, Drawing Lessons.

Oyia Brown

A WordPress site to share a smile; then an anthology showing how things really are.

Friendly Fairy Tales

Celebrating Nature and Magic for Kids of all Ages


Retrouvez toutes les informations du monde en temps réel



Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

Creepy Cincinnati

Cincinnati Hauntings & Urban Legends

%d bloggers like this: