Story: Economy



Māori who settled New Zealand in the 13th century from the Pacific carried some foods with them. A particularly important crop in their cargo was the kūmara (sweet potato). Pictured here are three pre-European varieties, ‘Rekamaroa’, ‘Hutihiti’ and ‘Taputini’.The kūmara commonly seen in New Zealand today is derived not from these ancient cultivars, but from varieties introduced by Europeans during the 19th century.

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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:

Brian Easton, 'Economy - The Māori economy: a history', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 31 May 2023)

Story by Brian Easton, updated 1 Sep 2016