Story: Pounamu – jade or greenstone

Letter from Poutini chiefs

In 1857, a number of chiefs from Poutini Ngāi Tahu wrote this letter to Donald McLean, the government’s chief land purchase officer. They outlined their concerns about the purchase of their land. They noted that they were willing to sell it for £2,500, and that when the land was sold they wanted to make arrangements for reserves. It was signed by the chiefs Tarapuhi, Te Iwipihi Paturi, Makarini Tohi, Inia Pikiwara, Po Arama Hotu, and Hakiaha. Despite the fact that during later negotiations it was made clear that Poutini Ngāi Tahu wished to protect their pounamu, the reserves did not achieve this.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Sir Donald McLean Papers
Reference: MS-Papers-0032-0681A-04

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, 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 7 December 2023)

Story by Basil Keane, published 12 Jun 2006