Kiwis are known around the world for being inventive. I also think, as a race, they are quite eccentric. Here are three exhibits that endorse that belief.


The kumara is the Maori name for a sweet potato. They come in odd shapes and have to be amongst the least attractive looking vegetables on earth. However, they are tasty and provide valuable nutrients to the body.

Warren Suckling, known locally as ‘Ernie the Kumara King’ has turned his family farm close to the small town of Dargaville in Northland into one of the oddest tourist attractions in Australasia. The tour he has created starts in an ex- kumara storage shed, (the Kumara Box). The shed is full of memorabilia collected by Ernie over the years to celebrate the region’s past. ‘The Kumara King’ kicks things off by telling stories of the farming history of the kumara in the region. He shows a short film as a visual aid to clarify points he brings up in the talk on how they are planted and harvested. His unique sense of humour helps make the stories interesting to people who have never stepped onto a farm before. read more