The kumara has a long history of cultivation in New Zealand. Brought here by the early Maori settlers over one thousand years ago from Pacific Islands, they were widely grown especially in the semi-tropical regions of the North Island.
Kaipara Kumara grow 3 types of kumara – red, gold and orange. Each has its own distinctive colour and subtle flavour differences. Red kumara, (Owairaka) is the most widely recognised kumara in New Zealand with a distinctive red skin, a creamy white firm textured flesh which cooks with a delightfully mellow taste. Kaipara Kumara grow small-size red kumara called ‘Sweeties’ which can be cooked whole or diced and popped into a salad raw. Gold kumara (Toka Toka) has a golden skin and flesh and a sweeter taste than red kumara. Orange kumara (Beauregard) has a rich orange flesh and is the sweetest of the 3 varieties.