The leatherjacket (Novodon convexirostris), or kokiri of the Maoris, is a small rough-skinned fish with a tiny mouth and a triggerlike spine on the back which can be locked into a vertical position at will. This fish resembles brown suede leather, except for the fins which are bright yellow. It is a good food fish and is sold in the Auckland markets in the form of skinned fillets under the name of “cream fish”. The leatherjacket is less than a foot in length and is common in the outer Hauraki Gulf, where it is often seen feeding around seaweed-covered rocks.
by Arthur William Baden Powell, Assistant Director, Auckland Institute and Museum.