Story: Pounamu – jade or greenstone

Hei tiki

Hei tiki

This hei tiki is from Kaiapoi . Poutini Ngāi Tahu (Māori iwi on the South Island’s west coast) supplied their relations in Kaiapoi with pounamu, and Kaiapoi became the greatest pounamu trading centre in the land. From Kaiapoi, pounamu was traded throughout New Zealand. Extensive evidence of this trade was available by the time Europeans arrived in New Zealand.

Using this item

Canterbury Museum
Reference: E163.254

Permission of Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch, New Zealand must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Basil Keane, 'Pounamu – jade or greenstone - Ngāi Tahu and pounamu', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 28 February 2024)

Story by Basil Keane, published 12 Jun 2006