Introducing Tihei Taiao a new series that focuses on different tipu in our taiao. We’ll explore what our tipuna used them for, their kai or Rongoa uses and how to identify them. Our 3 kaitiaki sharing their taiao knowledge are Riki Bennett, Graeme Atkins and Tame Malcolm.

Did you know that kōwhai bark was used to heal a leg injury sustained by the great All Black George Nepia? Or puha is not only good with pork bones but can be used to cure warts? And those pesky piripiri (bidibid) that stick to your socks? Our tipuna used them to treat kidney and bladder problems, as well as skin diseases!
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Mamaku

Cyathea Medullaris, our Black Tree Fern, can be used as an anti-inflammatory and is available all year. Hear from Tame about its other uses.

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Karamu

Coprosma Robusta, were used as a substitute for coffee. The leaves can be used as a rongoa. Anei a Graeme me ōna whakamārama. 

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Kaikomako

The bark from our Bellbird tree is used as a flatboard to start fires. Riki explains.

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Kawakawa

Piper excelsum leaves are a well known rongoa. But did you know kawakawa have berries? Tame explains the different uses of Kawakawa.

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Koromiko

Veronica Stricta is used for upset stomachs or diarrhoea. Graeme recommends that everyone should have Koromiko in their garden.

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Raurekau

Coprosma Grandifolia is used in raranga and as a rongo. Riki tell us how.

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Rangiora

Tame tells us why this tipu is known as Bushman’s friend. Mātakitaki mai!

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Ngaio

Graeme shows us how to make an insect repellent with Ngaio leaves.

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Mahoe

Whiteywood has multiple uses. Riki shares how it is utilised as a fire starter, pigment for tā moko and a rongoa for burns and hakihaki.

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Tarata

Lemonwood is available all year and is fragrant. Hear how our tīpuna used Tarata.

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Piripiri

We all know Biddy Bid as the plant that sticks to our clothes but did you know it is a rongoa for your kidney, bladder and stomach.

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Patē

The seven-finger plant is said to have stored Mahuika’s fire. The juice/sap can be used as a rongoa.

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Rimu

Known as Red Pine, Rimu is rich in Vitamic C. When lighting fires the bark gives off little smoke.

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Poroporo

Solanum Aviculare is for external use only. The entire plant is toxic. A rongoā for boils and dandruff.

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Karaka

Ripe berries help fatten Kereru while the leaves are used to draw out and heal infections.

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Tutu

Also known as Toot, Tutu is a toxic plant and is for external use only.

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Whau

Cork tree had multiple uses. From boat building to wrapping babies in leaves, this unsinkable tipu is also a rongoa.

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Horoeka

Also known as Lancewood, every part of the Horoeka is utlised – its gum, wood and leaves.

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Mānuka

Manuka is a super tipu. Its leaves, bark, oil and honey can be used as rongoā. Tame tells us how it can be untilised.

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Puawananga

Our native aka loves the sun. Puawananga flowers are the first to blossom in the spring time. As a rongoā, it helps relieves menstrual pains. Graeme explains.

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Mapou

The bark is a natural rongoa for toothaches. Riki also talks about how Mapou timber was used for making weapons. 

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Horopito

Aotearoa’s pepper tree is a natural painkiller in the bush and can be used as a spice in cooking. Ma Tame e whakamārama.

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Pingao

Golden Sand Sedge is used for raranga and tukutuku panels. Our tīpuna also used it to make shelters.

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Mingimingi

This natural immunity booster is great for chest and lung complaints.

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Tātarāmoa

As well as aiding sleep deprivation, Tātarāmoa helps sore throats, chest pains and stomach aches.

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Ngutu kākā

Ngutu Kāka is our most rare and threatened tipu. Tīpuna made head wreaths from flowers for important events.

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Kahikatea

Learn how Kahikatea treats an upset puku, aches and pains. The wood is ideal for making tools.

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Kowaowao

Our tīpuna steamed Kōwaowao leaves in hangi. The young leaves are a delicious bush lettuce.

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Kumarahou

A rongoā and soap, hear how Kumarahou is used as an immunity booster and helps chest and lung complaints and diabetes.

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Tihei Taiao Puriri
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Puriri

A rongoā for gout, pains and sprains. Puriri is also one of the strongest timbers.

KIA MATAARA! If you can’t identify the plant kaua e kai!