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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 2 (May 1, 1934.)

Home Brew at Maungatautari

Home Brew at Maungatautari.

But the ingenious Maori here and there applied his talents to other branches of industry besides wheatgrowing. Like the Tahitians and Rarotongans, our native sons learned the art of making cheering liquors from the products of the soil. They derived the idea from the pakeha, of course. This is an illuminating note I have turned up in a report made to Sir Donald Maclean, Native Minister, in 1875, by Mr. R. S. Bush, who was a Government native agent and interpreter, and afterwards Magistrate in Auckland:

“Ngati-Koroki and Ngati-Kahukura are tribes living near Cambridge, Waikato. One of the latter tribe, Turo, from Maungatautari, has become quite an expert at distilling a kind of intoxicating drink from maize, potatoes and pumpkins, which the natives say is much stronger than the pakeha waipiro. One glass will make a man drunk. Those who indulge too freely do not suffer any after-effects, hence its popularity. Turo sold all he could make, at three shillings per bottle.”