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Some researchers now conclude that the weight of all the radiocarbon and DNA evidence points to New Zealand having been settled rapidly in a mass migration sometime after the Tarawera eruption, somewhere in the decades between 13 CE The debate over Māori population size has two main areas of interest, how many settlers came to New Zealand and what was the population when European contact occurred.
) and has been a valuable aid in solving some later historical problems. Eurasian labels do not perfectly fit as some level of horticulture was always present in northern New Zealand, even existing at the same time as megafauna.
Academically New Zealand's human prehistory is broadly divided into Archaic (~paleolithic then ~mesolithic) after c. More simply it can also be divided into time periods of pre and post European contact.
Against this emerging evidence for late settlement was some seemingly contradictory evidence from the first radiocarbon dating of ancient rat bones in 1996 which gave unusually early dates - as early as 10 AD - and led its author to suggest that rats had been brought here by early human voyagers who did not stay.
Some scholars saw the early rat bone dates as confirmation of their theory that humans had settled in New Zealand even earlier than the classic theory had suggested, living in small numbers for a thousand years or so without leaving artefacts or skeletal remains However, further investigation found that those early rat bone results had been flawed, all coming from one laboratory during a limited time period, while all subsequent dating has found recent arrival times for both rats and humans.
Many New Zealanders observe Father’s Day on the first Sunday of September.