Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Winners of kokako photo competition

Date posted: 02-Sep-2018

The stunning winning photographs from those submitted to the competition as part..

Kokako Celebration

Date posted: 21-Jul-2018


Kokako Photographic Competition

Date posted: 20-Jul-2018

KĊŒKAKO PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION Celebrating 21 years on Tiritiri Matangi To ce..

New monitoring reports published

Date posted: 19-Jul-2018

Reports on monitoring studies carried out over the past year have now been poste..

2018 Concert coming up soon

Date posted: 15-Feb-2018

Our 2018 concert will feature an afternoon of light classics and jazz courtesy of the Auckland Ph..

Wetapunga talk coming soon

Date posted: 05-Feb-2018

For the Social on 19 March the speaker will be Ben Goodwin of Auckland Zoo, who will talk about t..

Rat caught and now takahe released from pens

Date posted: 28-Jan-2018

Thankfully DOC staff Andre de Graaf and Polly Hall and their assistants have trapped the rat whic..

Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..


Botanical name:  Coprosma robusta
Maori name:  Karamu
Height:  5-10 metres

Karamu occurs as a shrub to small tree throughout N.Z.  Flowers from September to November followed by dense clusters of red to orange berries in March.  These are eagerly harvested by birds.

Maori children ate ripe coprosma berries, described as sweet and juicy with a bitter after taste.

Settlers in the late 19th century, sensing the relationship of coprosma to the coffee plant, did try roasting and grinding the seed of karamu and taupata.  Notes from a meeting of the Wellington Philosophical Society describe that “the beans …… when roasted and ground have a splendid coffee aroma and when made into coffee the result seems to be thoroughly satisfactory.”  Coprosma and Coffea (the coffee plant) both belong in Rubiaceae, the madder family.

Photography by Warren Brewer
© (top right
- male flower, bottom left - female fruit)