Elsdon Best recorded all the known Māori terms for soil types in his book Maori agriculture (1925). Many distinct soil types were known, especially those that were good for growing kūmara (sweet potato).
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Source: Elsdon Best, Maori Agriculture: the cultivated food plants of the natives of New Zealand, with some account of native methods of agriculture, its ritual and origin myths. Wellington: Dominion Museum, 1925