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Had the pigs been safely introduced into New Zealand at that stage (as the rats and dogs were) they would have undoubtedly flourished as they did when they were introduced in 1793.When Captain Cook first visited New Zealand in 1769, his journals note that near the north cape of the North Island, the Maoris told of a land north west of New Zealand where people ate 'puaka', which is rather conveniently the Samoan name for pigs.

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Theory #3: Captain Cook/De Surville Releases It is generally assumed kune kune were originally introduced into New Zealand by Captain Cook in 1763, when he exchanged the pigs, which he had been carrying on his ship as a source of food, for fresh food from the Maoris.

However, for some reason these pigs did not survive or breed well.

Sir Peter Buck (Te Rangihiroa) discovered evidence of pigs similar to kunes in Tahiti in 950AD; from where the Maoris are thought to have originally came from.

The pigs in Tahiti in fact have the same name as in New Zealand - kune kune.

As has been previously mentioned, one particular version of this theory states the Captain Cooker pigs which were brought by their namesake on his first voyage to New Zealand as a food supply in 1769, somehow bred with a slightly more domestic pig also aboard Cook's ship, to create the kune kune.

If it were not for the tassels the kune kune pig sports today, this theory might be more credible.

However to account for the tassels of today's kune kune, the domestic pigs the Cookers bred with would have had to have been a breed such as the Tamworth, Wessex, Berkshire or Middle White, none of which have tassels themselves, but all of which are thought to be descendents of the Old Poland Chinese pig that, although not extant in its original purebred state any more, had the unusual feature of tassels, similar to those on the kune kune.

Captain Cook may have well included such breeds of pig as a source of fresh food on his voyage to New Zealand in 1769, and so, although the theory is generally unpopular among biologists, it is not an impossibility.

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