Owned and governed by four local hapu (tribes) of Ngati Whakaue, Ngati Uenukukopako, Ngati Rangiwewehi and Ngati Rangiteaorere, Mokoia Island holds a prominent place in Maori cultural history. Mokoia Island has an abundance of native flora and fauna. You will see native trees such as the Karaka, Totara, Whau, Puriri, Pohutukawa, Cabbage trees, and native plants like the Kawakawa, Pikopiko, Titoki, Flax and various ferns that were essential everyday ingredients for the Maori people who have lived there.
Maori Botanical Remedies
Kawakawa leaves were used as a tonic and a general drinking tea. The juice is said to aid digestion and settle an upset stomach. It was used as both an internal and external remedy, by chewing the leaves to relieve toothache, and the leaves and bark were used as a poultice for wounds, ulcers and skin complaints.
Titoki leaves were prepared then boiled and rubbed on the skin as an insecticide. The red fleshy part of the root can be eaten.
Flax was woven to make mats, bags, clothing, bowls, rope and used in shelters. It has a sticky gum that was used on sores and wounds, and the juice was used as an antiseptic. Almost every part of the flax can be used to make dyes - in colours of khaki, browns, pink, and apricots.
Pikopiko (the common shield fern - also known as the native bush asparagus) the tender fern shoots can also be eaten.