Story: Ngā tupu mai i Hawaiki – plants from Polynesia



A stallholder holds a yam, Dioscorea elata, imported from Fiji and on sale at Ōtara Market in South Auckland. This is the same species brought to New Zealand by the Polynesian ancestors of Māori, and known to them as uwhi. Little is known about the cultivation of uwhi in New Zealand, but it needs a growing period of eight months or more, and it appears likely that yields were low.

Using this item

The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand - Kuratini Tuwhera
Photograph by Mike Burtenshaw

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Louise Furey, 'Ngā tupu mai i Hawaiki – plants from Polynesia - Taro, uwhi and tī pore', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 September 2021)

Story by Louise Furey, published 24 Nov 2008