The colony of Otago (from a native word meaning ochre, which was found here and highly prized by the Maoris as a pigment for the body when preparing for battle) was founded as the chief town of the Otago settlement by settlers sent out under the auspices of the lay association of the Free Church of Scotland in 1848.
No record, no folk tales, as in the case of the Maoris origin.
This linguistic poverty proves that the Australian tongue has no affinity to the Polynesian group of languages, where denary enumeration prevails: the nearest Polynesians, the Maoris, counting in thousands.
The Maoris are Polynesians, and, in common with the majority of their kinsfolk throughout the Pacific, they have traditions which point to Savaii, originally Savaiki, the largest island of the Samoan group, as their cradleland.
The Rarotongas call themselves Maori, and state that their ancestors came from Hawaiki, and Pirima and Manono are the native names of two islands in the Samoan group. The almost identical languages of the Rarotongas and the Maoris strengthen the theory that the two peoples are descended from Polynesians migrating, possibly at widely different dates, from Samoa.