Otuataua Stonefields: 2nd research visit – Mangere, Auckland

The Ōtuataua Stonefields show how the early Maori adapted to their new environment. New Zealand’s shorter growing seasons and colder mean temperatures ruled out many Polynesian staples. The settlers salvaged only a few crops – kumara, taro, yams and gourds, all plants with short growing seasons and small or tough leaves. In the inland Bay of Islands, Palliser Bay and parts of the northern South Island they gave their crops further assistance by nurturing them in neatly laid-out stone-walled gardens. The stones warmed and mulched the soil, extending the growing season by up to a month.

Two centuries ago, Maori were still cultivating 8000 ha of volcanic stonefields around Tāmaki-makau-rau, the Auckland isthmus. Now just 160 ha of the stonefields remains. They largely fell into disuse after the early 19th-century inter-tribal Musket Wars and were swallowed up by urban sprawl. Conservationists had to fight hard even to save Ōtuataua’s 100 ha at Māngere, which was bought by the Manukau City Council with help from DOC, the Lotteries Commission and the Auckland Regional Council. On 10 February 2001, one of New Zealand’s oldest sites became its newest reserve, the Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve. Here you can see Polynesian house sites, storage pits, cooking shelters, terraces, mound gardens, garden plots and garden walls as well as some 19th-century European dry-stone farm walls.

On a previous, 2013 visit to the Stonefields, unusual electro-magnetic fields were recorded, along with a high-pitched sound which could not be explained at the time.

Return to High EMF area

Upon returning to the location where last time had shown some very odd EMF readings and audible anomalies had been previously recorded; no EMF spikes or high-pitched tones were experienced.

From the report of the 2013 visit: In one area, I entered into a bowl-like crater formation, dotted with volcanic scoria stone piles, walls and seemingly human-made structures all over-grown with lush grass. It was in this area that we experienced unusual and sporadic EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) Meter readings. The “Cell Sensor” meter responded with readings between 1 – 2.5 milligauss. Also in this area, a continuous and piercing, (almost electronic sounding) high-pitched squealing sound could be felt and heard. The sound source could not be located and it seemed to be coming from everywhere. However, outside of this area there was nothing at all. No sound or further EMF readings at all.
As we didn’t have a good selection of atmospheric measuring equipment on hand during this initial reconnaissance, however it was assumed for that moment that the high energy readings could have been caused by earthly geomagnetic movements, due to the volcanic situation and history of the land. However, it was also thought strange that this activity wasn’t detected on any other part of the land that was surveyed that day. It was only apparent in the crater-like bowl of grassland.
Also of interest; a compass which was being used did not react at all whilst the EMF meter was picking up the strange levels. Surely if the energy was magnetic (or geomagnetic) the compass needle would have reacted?

This time, I experienced nothing. No odd EMF readings, no high pitched sounds.

All readings were flat. The compass I have attached to my back pack was showing nothing out of the ordinary. As it did last time.

A couple of E.V.P. (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) communication attempts were conducted during both visits, though nothing stood out as being unusual on review of the audio.

What caused the original anomalous activity at the site continues to remain a mystery.

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