Comment of the Day

Seriously! comments in General Debate:

Great news!

New genetic research shows the original ancestors of Maori were Southeast Asians who were the first to populate the Pacific Islands.

This solves two issues.

The over-representation in bad stats must be a statistical blip. Maori are in fact good at math, looking after their kids, business, and value education highly.

It also means that Chinese investment is actually by their tupuna – we needn’t have worried about it after all.

Then again, maybe it all has nothing to do with genetics….

The article he refers to is from the NZ Herald:

Scientists have revealed intriguing new insights into the earliest ancestors of Maori, confirming that the first people to settle in the Pacific were from Asian farming groups.

The revelations, published today in Nature and co-authored by Massey University computational biologist Professor Murray Cox, may hold the key to future health improvements for Maori and Pasifika populations.

The research is the first to sequence ancient DNA from 3000-year-old skeletons to identify who were the first people to reach the Pacific Islands.

By examining skeletal remains from the first people to settle in Vanuatu and Tonga, the research was able to put a 40-year-debate to rest, showing the ancient settlers had little to no Papuan ancestry, contrary to what had previously been suggested.

This proved that the first people to reach remote Oceania were from Asian farming groups, with later movements bringing Papuan genes into the region.

Before this work, no ancient genomic DNA had ever been obtained from any tropical region, including the Pacific. This resulted in two opposing scenarios to explain why Maori and Pasifika have Papuan and Asian ancestry – the other stating that farming groups moving out of Asia mixed with Papuans near New Guinea and created a mixed group with both ancestries and the mixed group settling in the Pacific.

“This paper gives us the first basic picture of the genomic make-up of Pacific Islanders,” Cox said. “Unlike European New Zealanders, where we can leverage off research done in the UK and US, we knew very little about the genomes of Pasifika and Maori.”

Winston was right all along when he claimed in that Maori were Asian in origin back in 2002.

Claims by Winston Peters he has “Chinese blood in me” surprise a Victoria University scientist who has researched Pacific colonisation.

It must be one of those rare instances where “politics informed science”, molecular biosciences reader Geoff Chambers told NZPA .

“I am surprised Winston Peters has more knowledge that me, but one scholar does not dispute the findings of another.”

New Zealand First leader Mr Peters told a Chinese meeting in Auckland yesterday he had never verbally attacked Asians.

In fact, as a Maori, he originally came from mainland China.

Mr Peters has been under fire from political opponents for his “racist” immigration policies, which they allege target Asians.

Citing Massey University research, Mr Peters said Maori were descended from a “high mountain national tribe” called Gao Shan Zhu.

“That means I have Chinese blood in me,” he said.

Massey University referred NZPA to Dr Chambers, who has researched the colonisation of the Pacific.

“There’s always something to learn from Winston,” Dr Chambers said.

“There are elements of truth that I can verify in that account, but it’s different from my understanding things, a little bit.”

Polynesians did originate from mainland China, Dr Chambers said.

“The precise lineage, or sub tribe of historic origin, I do not know. I do not know if anyone knows,” he said.

Funny how the scientific expert is now proved wrong.

 

– NZ Herald

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