Story: Te ohanga onamata a rohe – economic regions

Stone resources

Stone resources

This map shows the distribution of stone resources utilised by Māori. They were a neolithic people, who relied on stone resources for tools. The most important tools were toki (adzes) and whao (chisels). Early adzes were mostly made from basalt or other hard rock like adzite (baked argillite) or greywacke. Later adzes were made from greywacke or basalt in the North Island, and nephrite (pounamu, or greenstone) in the South Island. It was economically advantageous for tribes to live close to stone resources – as well as providing materials for making tools, stone was an important tradeable commodity.

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Source: Malcolm McKinnon, ed., Bateman New Zealand historical atlas: kopapatuanuku e takotonei. Auckland: David Bateman, 1997, plate 14

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How to cite this page:

Basil Keane, 'Te ohanga onamata a rohe – economic regions - Tradable commodities', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 3 October 2023)

Story by Basil Keane, published 11 Mar 2010