Story: English language in New Zealand

Cabbage tree, Tokomaru Bay

Cabbage tree, Tokomaru Bay

British navigator James Cook bestowed the name 'cabbage tree' on the giant New Zealand tree lily Cordyline australis, which Māori called tī kōuka. Cook called it a cabbage tree because the young leaves are edible, and his name has stuck. In his diary on 29 October 1769 he wrote 'we ... found one Cabbage Tree which we cut down for the sake of the cabbage.' The felled cabbage tree was growing just south of Tokomaru Bay on the East Coast. 

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Jock Phillips

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Dianne Bardsley, 'English language in New Zealand - The development of New Zealand English', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 July 2024)

Story by Dianne Bardsley, published 5 Sep 2013