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.

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

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

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Basil Keane, 'Te ohanga onamata a rohe – economic regions - Tradable commodities', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/map/23598/stone-resources (accessed 16 July 2020)

Story by Basil Keane, published 11 Mar 2010