Story: Acclimatisation

Taputini kūmara (1st of 3)

Taputini kūmara

The Polynesian ancestors of Māori introduced a number of crops to New Zealand, but kūmara (sweet potato) was the most successful, flourishing in northern coastal areas. Kūmara came originally from South America and was being grown and eaten in the Cook Islands by 1000 CE. Taputini is thought to be an early variety cultivated by Māori – the large tubers sold today were introduced later by Europeans.

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The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand - Kuratini Tuwhera
Photograph by Graham Harris

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Acclimatisation - Improving upon nature', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 7 December 2023)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 24 Nov 2008