Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.
Colenso (Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, 1877, p. 146) says that Tainui (an ancestor of Henare Matua, of Porangahau) was the chief to whom Cook made the gifts of pigs and seeds at Pourerere (H.B.) in 1773.
“Cook's Cabbage” was a far from despised item of food at Tolaga Bay during the partial famine which followed the great flood in 1876. Portland Island was another locality in which it remained prolific for many years. Stock were responsible for its disappearance.
McNab (Tasman to Marsden, p. 94) says that, at the Thames, the natives were cultivating potatoes when ships went there for spars in 1801, and, at p. 102, that, at the Bay of Islands, potatoes were being cultivated in 1805 in immense quantities to supply the whalers. “Old Hook Nose” told C. W. Ligar in 1852 that Cook gave the natives of Mercury Bay a double handful of potatoes in 1769, and that none of the produce was used until the fourth season, when a great feast was held.