In this video conference, scientist Stephen Tauwhare explains that harakeke isto New Zealand and Norfolk Island.
Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tāmaki Nui a Rua: Me pēhea tō mōhio ko ēhea ngā harakeke tūturu nō, ā, he harakeke i mua i te taenga mai o mā ki Aotearoa?
Wiremu: What sort of harakeke originally came from New Zealand before the arrival of Pākehā to Aotearoa?
Stephen Tauwhare (Harakeke is to New Zealand and Norfolk Island. Indigenous means it is found here or it originates from here. Those are the only two places in the world it originates from. What has happened over the years though is some people have taken harakeke overseas. There are large plantations of harakeke in France, Italy and South Africa especially. The Japanese grew harakeke a lot during the first world war and they used to harvest it to make back packs for their soldiers.