Evan Ward wrote:But in many cases there must be native alternatives, and less weedy species that do the same jobs, and that is what I'd love to draw out on this thread.
Your other NZ native options would be Kowhai (Sophora), NZ Broom (Carmichaelia), and the Scree pea (Montigena). Due to the toxicity I wasn't keen on the idea of Kowhai (though it's a lovely tree), some of the Brooms could be a reasonable choice (notably C. aligera and C. williamsii) but I wonder about it's shade tolerance in a food forest, the Scree pea is a mountainous plant so not really suitable.. thus I ended up at Kakabeak.
I always thought ground cover hast to be weedier than weeds to get the job done. The job of ground cover is outcompeting weeds.