10 Oct 2011

Adviser hopes restoration project will revive traditional kai

7:00 pm on 10 October 2011

An adviser to a project converting 60 hectares of dairy farmland to native bush hopes restoring the landscape will also help revive traditional food preparation.

Native trees such as kahikatea, totara and kauri have already been planted on 15 hectares of the wetland, Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park in Hamilton City.

An ethnographic adviser to Waikato University, Wiremu Puke - who researches Maori culture - hopes the conversion will revive traditional food preparation.

He recalls his grandmother soaking hinau and tawa berries to extract the pulp to make patties that she would bake in an umu or earth oven but says it's now quite rare to hear about traditional methods being used to prepare kai.