Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Māori names for soils

Oneone means soil. Māori  gardeners had at least 60 names for types of soil, including:

One nuirich soil, consisting of clay, sand and decayed organic material
One-matuatypically a loam
One matadark fertile soil
Tuatara wawatabrown friable fertile soil suitable for kūmara
One paraumuvery dark fertile soil, friable
One hanahanaDark soil mixed with gravel or small stones
One haruruLight but good soil; sand and loam
One hungasea sand, sandy beach, sometimes mixed with mud
One kopurusoil found in wet situations
One kōkopugravel, or very gravelly soil
One kurareddish, poor soil
One pākirikirisoil containing gravel
One parahuhualluvium (also parahua)
One pungalight spongy soil
One taisandy soil, near tidal flats, near beach
One teawhite soil, sandy volcanic material
One takatakafriable soil
One tuatarastiff brown soil, needing sand or gravel worked in
One wawatalumpy soil
Kirikiri tuatarafertile brown soil
Kōtaealluvial soil
One tealight sandy soil, near Dargaville.
Kenepurusandy silt
Kere was used as a prefix for some types of clay, including keretū, kerematua and kerewhenua:
Kerematuastiff clay
Kerewhenuayellow clay
Kereonesandy earth, e.g., near Morrinsville
Kōtorewhite clay
Taiomapipe clay
Ukuunctous clay, white or bluish
Uku whenuaplastic clay (old traditional name)
Matapaiaa clay when baked hard was used as a stone for cooking
Matapaia – a clay when baked hard was used as a stone for cooking