Tuhinga 27, 2016

Our current issue of Tuhinga. Articles cover repatriation, volcanic glass, species classification, prions (petrels), and conservation. 

or download the individual article you’re interested in below.

A partnership approach to repatriation: building the bridge from both sides
by Te Herekiekie Herewini and June Jones

Māori fishhooks at the Pitt Rivers Museum: comments and corrections
by Jeremy Coote
Response to ‘Māori fishhooks at the Pitt Rivers Museum: comments and corrections’ by Chris D. Paulin

Obsidian floater washed up on a beach in the Chatham Islands: geochemical composition and comparison with other volcanic glasses
by Foss Leach, Hamish Campbell, Nelson Eby, Katherine Holt, Marcel Regelous, Rhys Richards and Steve Weaver

Re-evaluation of the taxonomic status of Christella dentata (Thelypteridaceae) supports recognition of one species in New Zealand
by Pat Brownsey and Leon Perrie

A review of the distribution and size of prion (Pachyptila spp.) colonies throughout New Zealand
by Sarah E. Jamieson, Alan J.D. Tennyson, Kerry-Jayne Wilson, Elizabeth Crotty, Colin M. Miskelly, Graeme A. Taylor and Susan M. Waugh

Legal protection of New Zealand’s indigenous aquatic fauna – an historical review
by Colin M. Miskelly

A partnership approach to repatriation: building the bridge from both sides

Te Herekiekie Herewini and June Jones

Māori and Moriori ancestral remains were traded throughout Europe, the Americas and Australia from the 1770s onwards. Repatriation requests have successfully secured the return of many ancestral remains, but the act of repatriation does not always lead to a lasting legacy of friendship and continued collaboration. The University of Birmingham and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa worked together to build a bridge that allowed collaborative work to continue beyond the formal handover ceremony of Māori ancestors in 2013. The bridge was built by mutual respect, increased levels of understanding and willingness to cooperate for the good of both parties through the handover ceremony. From the university’s perspective, the act of repatriation was a moral duty, providing an opportunity to address colonial attitudes that had led to the collection and retention of the ancestors. From Te Papa’s perspective, the formal handover ceremony provided an opportunity to show respect to the ancestors in an appropriate and culturally sensitive way.

 

Māori fishhooks at the Pitt Rivers Museum: comments and corrections

Jeremy Coote

Chris D. Paulin’s account in the pages of this journal (Tuhinga 21) of the Māori fishhooks at the University of Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum provides an inaccurate picture of the collection and its history. In particular, he misattributes to Hawai‘i an important Māori fishhook acquired on Cook’s first voyage (1768–71). An accurate account of the museum’s collection is provided here, some of the errors in Paulin’s report are corrected, and the evidence for the Māori provenance of the first-voyage hook is presented.

Chris D. Paulin then provides a response to ‘Māori fishhooks at the Pitt Rivers Museum: comments and corrections’.

Obsidian floater washed up on a beach in the Chatham Islands: geochemical composition and comparison with other volcanic glasses

Foss Leach, Hamish Campbell, Nelson Eby, Katherine Holt, Marcel Regelous, Rhys Richards and Steve Weaver

A large block of pumice with a thick layer of volcanic glass attached to one side was found on a beach in the Chatham Islands. The geochemical signature of the specimen was most unusual: it proved to be a peralkaline phonolite with a negative europium anomaly. Since there was no obvious eruptive event that might have been the source of the floating object, identification of its geographic source involved a series of steps that progressively narrowed in on fewer and fewer potential sources. This process eventually pointed most strongly to McDonald Island in the Antarctic region southwest of Australia. This was confirmed only after unpublished geochemical data for the island were found. The process of identification described could have wider application when trying to find the volcanic source of obsidian artefacts with greater certainty.

Re-evaluation of the taxonomic status of Christella dentata (Thelypteridaceae) supports recognition of one species in New Zealand

Pat Brownsey and Leon Perrie

Several publications over the last 30 years have suggested that there may be more than one species of Christella in New Zealand: one with creeping rhizomes found in Northland and the Kermadec Islands, referable to the widespread species C. dentata; and another of uncertain status with short-creeping or erect rhizomes, confined to thermal regions in the North Island and the Kermadec Islands. The taxonomic status of these plants has been re-evaluated based on collections in the main New Zealand herbaria and field observations from botanists who have collected them. Analysis of frond and rhizome morphology, spore size and cytology indicates that the only difference between the two groups is the nature of the rhizome. Based on current knowledge, we conclude that only one rather variable species, C. dentata, is indigenous to New Zealand, and that it shows similar variation to the species in Australia. In addition, there are a few populations naturalised in northern New Zealand, some of which are slightly different in appearance to the indigenous plants and have probably been introduced from overseas sources, and others that may have originated from indigenous plants brought into cultivation.

A review of the distribution and size of prion (Pachyptila spp.) colonies throughout New Zealand

Sarah E. Jamieson, Alan J.D. Tennyson, Kerry-Jayne Wilson, Elizabeth Crotty, Colin M. Miskelly, Graeme A. Taylor and Susan M. Waugh

Prions are among of the most numerous birds of the Southern Ocean, and yet their populations are poorly documented. New Zealand has breeding populations of four of the six recognised species, all with large population sizes. The remaining two species occur naturally in the New Zealand zone but do not breed there. This review reports data collated from the scientific literature, government archives and unpublished information about the population sizes of prions gathered since earliest scientific records in New Zealand (1773, during James Cook’s second voyage) until the present day. The study focuses on breeding populations, and reports data about population size and presence or absence of prion populations from sites throughout the New Zealand region. The summary presented provides a solid baseline for future population assessments and identifies priority sites where future surveys are warranted.

Legal protection of New Zealand’s indigenous aquatic fauna – an historical review

Colin M. Miskelly

At least 160 different pieces of New Zealand legislation affecting total protection of species of aquatic fauna (other than birds) have been passed since 1875. For the first 60 years, legislation focused on notification of closed seasons for New Zealand fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri), for which the last open season was in 1946. All seal species (families Otariidae and Phocidae) have been fully protected throughout New Zealand continuously since October 1946. The first aquatic species to be fully protected were the southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) and pygmy right whale (Caperea marginata) within 3 nautical miles (5.6km) of the coast in 1935. Attempts to protect famous dolphins (including Pelorus Jack in 1904 and Opo in 1956) were ultra vires, and there was no effective protection of dolphins in New Zealand waters before 1978. The extinct New Zealand grayling (Prototroctes oxyrhynchus) was fully protected in 1951, and remains New Zealand’s only fully protected freshwater fish. Nine species of marine fishes are currently fully protected, beginning in 1986 (spotted black grouper, Epinephelus daemelii). Protection of corals began in 1980. The reasons why aquatic species were protected are explained, and their protection history is compared and contrasted with the history of protection of terrestrial species in New Zealand.