17 Apr 2015

New database for traditional Māori kai

7:02 am on 17 April 2015

A new national database is being set up to help the public learn about and grow traditional Māori kai.

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Traditional Māori kai includes whitebait, pikopiko (fern shoots) and karaka berries, among many other food sources. Photo: 123RF

The Tūpuna Kai Project has received about $90,000 from the Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund with the aim of reconnecting the country with the benefits of traditional food.

The database will have information on the whakapapa and cultivation of traditional kai such as vegetables, berries and birds.

Dr Geoffrey Kira, a researcher at Massey University's Research Centre for Māori Health and Development, said most people did not know about traditional Māori kai, apart from breads and boil-up.

The information will be available online for the public, including potential growers, early next year.

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