An Otago University archaeologist believes he's found out why Golden Bay Maori attacked Abel Tasman's crew in 1642.
Waatea News reports the traditional view is that the first recorded European-Maori contact went wrong because the Dutch were seen as strangers and enemies.
But Dr Ian Barber says his excavations in Golden Bay indicate that Tasman's crew was seen as a threat to crops and stores of food close to their likely landing spot.
Dr Barber says a small boat on which three crew members were killed, came close to the hapu's extensive kumara gardens.
"These guys came visiting in a big ship. Lots of them were likely to have been hungry - I just don't buy into this 'fear of strangers' thing," he said.