Taewa (or rīwai) is a collective name for the varieties of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) cultivated by Māori.
Before European settlement, taewa was a staple food crop for Māori. By the 1800s, it had also become an important commercial crop, playing a key role in the introduction of Māori to European economics.
Māori acknowledge that some potato varieties arrived with early explorers, sealers, and whalers during the 18th century. They also have traditions that relate the existence of taewa well before this period. In recent times, some varieties of taewa have been lost, but due to research and indigenous gardening projects, a few varieties have survived.
Museum of New Zealand
Te Papa Tongarewa