how and when did they get there?

Middle Earth, New Zealand, Aotearoa…

Image result for maui disney images

The short version here:

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/pacific-migrations

The whole nine yards here:

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/pacific-migrations/page-1

One of the cool things I learned here is about those islands Maui pulled up out of the sea…

There are two main types of island in the Pacific: continental and oceanic. Continental islands lie in the western Pacific, and oceanic islands in the eastern Pacific. On maps a geological division called the Andesite Line runs between the two regions; oceanic islands lie to the east of the line.

Continental islands are partly submerged continents. They have diverse rock types, better soils and more resources, making long-term settlement easier.

Oceanic islands sit on top of volcanic seamounts that rise from the ocean floor. They may be high, low, or atolls just above sea level. With more restricted rock types, soils and resources, they may have been more difficult to colonise successfully.

The colonizers had pigs, dogs, chickens and (whether by design or accident) rats.

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