The Arahura River on the West Coast of the South Island was a major source of pounamu (greenstone), much prized by Māori for making tools, weapons and jewellery. According to Māori tradition, the Pounamu were once a people who escaped from their enemies in Hawaiki. But when their canoe, the Tairea, was wrecked, they were turned into greenstone boulders such as these in the Arahura River.
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