Māori Plant Use

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Plant Use Details 

Metrosideros perforata. Small white rātā. Akatorotoro.
FAMILY: Myrtaceae Myrtle family
BOTANICAL NAME: Metrosideros perforata
MĀORI NAME: AKA, akatorotoro, torotoro, akatea, koro, akatoki, whakapiopio
Climbing plant, thin strong stem, used for lashing toki: akatoki
COMMON NAME: clinging rātā; small white rātā
DOMESTIC: Aka tokai used for lashing handles for some adzes (toki). Selected, trimmed, steamed in hangi until pliable. Lashed tightly around stone tool (toki tītaha) (Best 1912).
CONSTRUCTION: Extremely durable. Much used for lashing palisades, etc. See also Best 1908 ; Servant 1973.
In Wairarapa, pieces of akatea sometimes laid transversely across ramparts so inner ends projected from the face. This enabled a garrison to detect tunnelling operations by the enemy. Such operations would cause the aka to move (Best 1927. Best was somewhat dubious)
In Wairarapa, sloping outer stockade called a karewa. Aka tokai used for rails and for lashing (ibid). Vine used for lashing in construction of storage houses (Best 1916)