Originally a feral pig that lived with the Maori tribes their name comes from the Maori as ‘Kune’ (pronounced Cooney) means fat and round. Therefore ‘Kune-Kune’ in Maori means very fat and very round.
How the breed ever got there is anybody’s guess as it certainly didn’t originate in New Zealand. Maybe whalers and sealers took them and released them for food when they visited, maybe the Maoris brought them over from Polynesia, maybe the settlers who came to farm brought them with them or they might just be a product of a mixture of breeds.
Coming in a variety of colours from cream to black, sandy to spotted this is a delightful little pig that does not grow to the size of normal pigs. Being mainly grass eating it is easy to keep and feed with far less chance of it rooting up the grass or your lawn. It makes an almost perfect ‘pet’ pig as it is very docile, easily trained and adores the company of human beings. Most ‘Kune-Kune’ pigs have a pair of tassels (called piri piri) under their chin very similar to a goat and although the lack of them does not detract from them as a ‘pet’ they are essential if you are showing.
Although only a small pig and mainly kept as a ‘pet’, for breeding or just keeping the grass down they also make excellent pork.