Many people today speak it with an appalling kiwi accent.
I also often have arguments with Maori who get annoyed because I will say Rotorua or Tauranga with an English accent when I am speaking English, yet it is okay for them to pronounce America, "Amerika", or Auckland, "Akarana", or tractor for that matter, "Tarakihana"I found a really interesting article on the net a while ago that mentioned that early Europeans found that Maori used many different consonants, including B and L and S, D and SH and CH etc... There was a tale of a native of Stewart island complaining that since the arrival of Europeans Maoris pronounced Stewart island as "Rakiura", but that when he was a boy it was, "lakiula"The saddest thing is that apparently now grandparents cannot understand their mokopuna speaking school taught "Maori", it is so different from the language they grew up with.
Although this digresses from your theories, I still thought you might like to hear of my experiences.
I am truly sad that they have lost their lingo; I just pray my Cook Island friends don't make the same mistake. I read about the allegation that the strap in school killed the Maori language.
So much for respecting their tupuna; usually European tupuna are denied.
I have studied Maori culture all my life, but am often the subject of anger from Maoris, often because I know more than them, but also because I am outspoken in my views.
Another point is that some older Cook island friends of mine report being able to converse freely with native speakers of NZ Maori, but are not able to understand, or be understood by school taught ones.
Te Karere is apparently, in the main, just gobbledegook.
Most iwi representatives of higher rank could take our scientists to these ancient burial locations without difficulty..why should they?
...there's considerably more financial advantage to be gained in the present political climate of keeping it all hushed up.
An individual I know had found Caucasoid skeletons in a cavern and had taken specimens, including a jaw for professional examination, to the Auckland University Medical School. There are ethnicities classified under the headings, Indo-nesians, Micro-nesians, Melan-esians, etc.,..then there are Poly-nesians, which are a mix of many ethnic groups. Even Phillip Houghton, an adept physical anthropologist who wrote, The First New Zealanders, 1980, appears to have assessed only "approved" skeletal research specimens, which were supplied through Maori sources.