In a 2009 speech, prominent Māori lawyer Moana Jackson said that the novel Once Were Warriors (Duff, 1990) could have been more appropriately named Once Were Gardeners (New Zealand Drug Foundation, 2009). By doing so he argued against the notion that Māori possess a “warrior gene” predisposing them to violence. Instead, Jackson maintained, Māori were more likely to have a predisposition for gardening. Gardening, or mahi māra, has been practised by Māori for centuries in Aotearoa New Zealand. Although motivations may have changed, mahi māra remains an important expression of what it means to be Māori.