Women in STEM advent calendar: Day 17 – Whakaotirangi

This winter, we are celebrating the festive season by honouring 25 amazing women in STEM, some of which you might not know of!


First known Māori horticulturalist
14th Century
Aotearoa (New Zealand)

Whakaotirangi led the Tainui Waka migration from Polynesia to New Zealand, bringing kūmara (sweet potato) and other seeds with her. She established experimental gardens at Aotea where she developed varieties of kūmara that were adapted to the new, colder climate. She also founded the first farm in the area, providing food security for the settlers, growing taro, para (fern), aute (mulberry) and karaka (a fruit tree).

For more on information on Whakaotirangi:


Day 16 – Etheldred Benett Day 18 – Sutayta Al-Mahāmali


Posted in Advent 2018.