The Letter

Well, my letter on the Doutré article saw print in the Herald today. I reprint it here with my own permission.

In a recent article (“Call to save hilltop boulders”) Wayne Thompson presents the idea that there was a pre-Maori Celtic culture in New Zealand as if it were an uncontroversial thesis.

This Celtic thesis claims that when Maori arrived in New Zealand they wiped out a pre-existing Celtic people and co-opted or buried the remnants of the prior civilisation. This view, largely articulated and expounded by one Martin Doutré (who, over the last few months, has published articles in the Franklin e-Local and Uncensored Magazine advancing his ugly and racist history of New Zealand), flies in the face of research into our country’s pre-history. It goes against the work of historians like Michael King and James Belich. It is also contrary to the archaeological, ethnological and linguistic evidence of our best researchers. Thompson presents Doutré as if he is is a credible voice on New Zealand’s pre-history when he is, in fact, not a qualified researcher at all but rather an untrained amateur whose views are entirely discredited.

Thompson’s article is not the kind of quality reporting we should expect of a national newspaper like the New Zealand Herald. I, for one, am disappointed.


About Matthew Dentith

Author of "The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories" (Palgrave Macmillan), Matthew Dentith wrote his PhD on epistemic issues surrounding belief in conspiracy theories. He is a frequent media commentator on the weird and the wonderful, both locally and internationally. On occasion he can be caught dreaming about wax lions but, mostly, it is rumoured he works for elements of the New World Order.