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ti kouka - THE CABBAGE TREE

On our papakainga, whānau are allocated an area where they would be able to harvest the resources available from the lakes, rivers, coastlines, and forests in their local takiwā (area).


Each whānau or pā would have designated places where tī kōuka grew and was available to be harvested for food resources.


A good stand of tī Kōuka trees was commonly known as a para–kauru, with kauru being the name given to the food that’s processed from the cabbage tree. Sometimes, these para were just a collection of trees, but they may also have been treated as a regular area to harvest the kauru.

Each year, there was a regular-season for kauru, which went from November through to March. After the first cut in November, there was still time for a second cut and cook session before the onset of winter. It was a highly favoured carbohydrate and the leaves used in recipes with eels and other traditional foods.


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