New Pounamu range ready to go

Kelly Barry packing the new range of traceable New Zealand Pounamu..

Kelly Barry, Ngāi Tahu Pounamu Business Development Manager  packing the new range of traceable New Zealand Pounamu.

New range launched


Examples of New Zealand Pounamu range

Examples of New Zealand Pounamu range

A new range of Authentic Ngāi Tahu Pounamu pieces called New Zealand Pounamu has been launched and will be available at twenty retail outlets around New Zealand before the end of the year. Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand is the first to stock the range.


The small pieces of natural, uncarved stone are aimed for travelers on a budget who want to take home a genuine piece of New Zealand pounamu.


All are attached to cords and come ready-to-wear. Every piece is different and comes with a card bearing an individual number that enables the owner to track the piece’s origins. By going to the purchaser can find out exactly what part of Te Waipounamu (the South Island), their piece comes from.


“This is different to our high-end authenticated pounamu range,” says Ngāi Tahu Pounamu Business Development Manager Kelly Barry.

“The pieces will sell for around $30 each and they come with a guarantee that the purchaser is getting genuine South Island pounamu not something imported from overseas.”

My Pounamu – Morgan Lee

Morgan Lee

Morgan Lee

Morgan Lee (Tainui – Te Akitai, Chinese, Pakeha), moved to the West Coast when she was eleven. She now lives in Christchurch and works as a Communications Advisor for Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu. She talks here about her favourite piece of pounamu.

I received my pounamu as a koha from my mother on my 16th birthday. Although she is Pakeha, she has always encouraged my brothers and I to embrace our Maori heritage.

I’m not sure of the origins of my piece of pounamu but I love its dark colour.

It was carved by Jayme Anderson (Te Aupouri, Ngapuhi, Tuhoe), of Hokitika.  Jayme has lived all his life in Napier but recently moved to Hokitika. He has a Diploma in Visual Art and Design from the Eastern Institute of Technology in the Hawke’s Bay; and while he has no formal apprenticeship, he has always been interested in the sculptural works of Henry Moore and the work of New Zealand jade carvers from the late 1970s. He always works in silver and gold.

My pounamu means a lot to me although to be honest, I didn’t wear it a lot when I first received it. The older I’ve become, the more I wear it. I have a much greater appreciation for it now.

I like to wear it to most Maori events as it helps me to feel more connected – whenever I wear it, I feel proud to be Maori. I do wear it at other times too but it really depends on the mood I am in.

My piece is carved in a Celtic design – actually a lot of Jayme’s pieces feature a similar inspiration; and interestingly, my Mum also got a tattoo that is based on a Celtic design. Her tattoo represents my two brothers and I, and our connection as a whanau. Mum said she always felt my piece of pounamu picked her – that of the pieces she looked at for me, this one ‘jumped out’ at her.

Morgan detail


I remember my Mum and I took a trip to my godmother’s house in Ashburton once and when we arrived we were greeted by my godmother and her friend, who was a master carver. He kindly blessed my pounamu. That was a lovely experience. Afterwards I felt quite spiritually connected to my piece.

Mum and I have started a tradition – if for some reason I can’t have my pounamu with me, Mum will look after it for me. When I have it myself, I will often grab hold of it and rub it. I like to think it helps me connect to my Mum when I am away from home. If it feels warm then I know everything is alright.


Pounamu helps historic church restoration

Toko Toru Tapu Anglican Church, Manutuke, Gisborne.

Toko Toru Tapu Anglican Church, Manutuke, Gisborne 2014.

A  masquerade ball will be held in  Sydney on 13 September,  to  assist with the restoration of the historic and picturesque Toko Toru Tapu Anglican  Church at Manutuke, Gisborne.  The evening will include auctions, raffles and door prizes and authenticated Ngāi Tahu Pounamu carver, Paul Graham of Manutuke has donated some of his beautiful pounamu carvings for the Sydney auction.

The Sydney event is being held to ensure the historic and beautiful Toko Toru Tapu Anglican Church at Manutuke, will continue to be the centre of our wider community and the Anglican Pihopatanga for another 100 years.  The project has been a work in progress for approximately 4 years and is now in the final stages of completion.

Stage one of the restoration project began in 2009 under the guidance of architect, James Blackburne from the Historic Places Trust. The project is now 80% complete with the  final  stage expected to cost approximately $350,000.

One of the Paul Graham pounamu carvings being auctioned to raise funds.

One of the Paul Graham pounamu carvings being auctioned to raise funds.

Built in 1913, this church is arguably the most historically-significant Maori church in New Zealand.  Toko Toru Tapu Church combines the external look of a colonial church with a Maori carved timber interior. But what makes it truly unique is the nature of those carvings, which are quite distinct  from others of the era.  They are the result of a clash between the patriarch of Christianity in this district, Anglican missionary William Williams, and the patriarch of local carving, Rahuruhi Rukupo of Rongowhakaata, now regarded as the most famous of the great carvers of the 19th century.

 The church has had little maintenance since the 1960’s and it was in desperate need of attention.  The project has involved general maintenance along with earthquake strengthening.  Key elements such as the windows have been fully restored and the old roof tiles have been replaced with a new diamond shape tile imported from the USA.  The original bell tower – removed due to rot during  the early 1960s – was also reinstated.

 Further information pertaining to this project can be found at:

Ready to Post

Mere in a box

Mere in a box

Pendants in waiting

Pendants in waiting

From Authentic Ngai Tahu Pounamu to You


World Jade Symposium

Pounamu (4) xxJadeS, the World Jade Symposium will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from November 21-23.

JadeS is a socially and environmentally conscious event and exhibition with the aim of providing both a platform for local and international lapidary enthusiasts to showcase their work and an exciting exhibition to engage and educate the public.

It’s an ambitious event that includes lectures, exhibitions, a jade carving competition and the making of a documentary film.  Topics covered will include the origins, history and meanings of jade; the cultural applications of jade – including a panel discussion on New Zealand Maori jade history and the importance of jade to Chinese culture.  Speakers will talk about jade typologies and technologies, jade’s global reach (from the Yukon and Siberia to China and New Zealand); and working with jade as a carver.

Central to the conference is a jade carving competition with participants from around the world including indigenous and non-indigenous carvers from China, Russia, Canada, UUSA and New Zealand. The event was first held in 2011, when 44 artists from around the world participated and New Zealand carvers Don Salt, Lewis Gardiner, Scott Parker, Ric Moor, Dallas Crombie and Stephen Myhre all took part.

The competition includes categories for jewellery and sculpture, with several prizes in each category; and works can be submitted either physically, or online. It’s a chance for carvers to expose their work to a wide audience and to meet and discuss ideas with other carvers.

Pounamu in riverJade is a precious rock that has had special significance since prehistoric times. In China, it was and continues to be a revered material of tremendous cultural importance. Jade’s history is immense and extends from Asia and Europe all the way to the Americas and the South Pacific. That cultural importance will be shown off in the exhibition.

In addition, a professional documentary film relating many great stories about jade is currently under production and will be premiered at the November jadeS event.

The story of jade is vast and complicated and there are many mysteries and legends attached to it that extend way beyond Maori culture. Many different cultures and carvers from different countries will be included in the film from Chinese carvers in back alley bazaars and Russian carvers in the Siberian wilderness and the heart of St. Petersburg to Maori carvers working in New Zealand. Canadian indigenous carvers will also feature.

If you would like to know more about jadeS, check out which features numerous photographs of carvers and their work, the raw material and interesting videos.

My Pounamu – Patsy Perenara-O’Connell

Patsy Perenara-O'Connell

Patsy Perenara-O’Connell

Patsy Perenara-O’Connell (Te Arawa, Ngā Rauru, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Porou, and Ngāti Pukenga), was born and raised in Taranaki (Waverley) and has lived in Christchurch for the last sixteen years. She is the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and has been with the organization for 11 years. She talks here, about her favourite piece of pounamu.

My husband (David) gave me this beautiful taonga for our fifth wedding anniversary in 2011. This was blessed and named ‘Puhi Raki’ by Puamiria Parata-Goodall. ‘Puhi Raki’ links to my Taranaki whakapapa.
• Puhi – to adorn with feathers or a bunch of feathers: refers to my raukura – a plume of albatross feathers that we wear in our hair.
• Raki – North: self explanatory, but of course I hail from the North Island

Puhi Raki is my Kaitiaki, I wear this every time I travel afar, especially when flying. I do karakia whilst holding my hei tiki before takeoff, this is because I’m actually afraid of flying (but I will fly as I don’t’ want to be left behind) and because it’s my interpretation of a practice that we do back home in Taranaki.

Most, if not all Māori from this area, call into a small church (on the Nukumaru straight) called Tūtahi. This is to give thanks to those who guide and protect us on our travels. My koko told me that it is believed that soldiers from WWI/II who stopped there before leaving the country all returned home. Puhi Raki will never replace our church, but it is the next best thing for a girl living away from home.

Patsy 2 smallThis taonga will remain in our whānau for our children and moko and hopefully remind them of their Ngā Rauru whakapapa and the tradition that we still do to this day.

New Carvings

Here’s a selection of new carvings fresh from Waewae Pounamu

waewae 4

waewae 5

waewae 1

waewae 3

waewae 2

British archery champion wears pounamu

Danielle Brown (left) and Karen Moffatt-McLeod

Danielle Brown (left) and Karen Moffatt-McLeod

When British archery champion Danielle Brown MBE presented the Champion of Champions Trophy at the New Zealand National Archery Championships in Whitianga in early January, she had no idea she was about to be presented with a piece of authenticated Ngāi Tahu Pounamu.

Dani, who is a two-time Paralympic gold medallist and three-time World Champion archer, was in New Zealand competing in the championships, where she won both the target champs and the match-play championships. The event was attended by 150 archers from ten countries.

Tournament organizer, Karen Moffatt-McLeod presented Dani with a specially-commissioned pounamu kōwhai carved by authenticated Ngāi Tahu Pounamu carver Paul Graham. The piece is carved in kawakawa stone and Dani was delighted and overwhelmed by the gift. She plans to wear it at the European Archery Festival, which is running in the United Kingdom this weekend.

Iwi / miners deal targets black market pounamu

Over 3-tonnes of pounamu by-product has already been returned.

Over 3-tonnes of pounamu by-product has already been returned.

An agreement signed between Poutini Ngāi Tahu and the West Coast mining industry should spell the end of the pounamu black market and bring mana back to the stone.
The agreement was reached between the two West Coast rūnanga, Makaawhio and Ngāti Waewae and all future mining permits issued by New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals will feature a caveat obliging miners to sell pounamu by-product to Ngāi Tahu.
Waewae Pounamu general Manager, Francois Tumahai has been working for two-and-a-half years to finalise the agreement, which will see miners who pass in pounamu by-product rewarded with a payment of 50% of the agreed value of the stone. He has been pleased with the response from miners to date and says over 3-tonne of pounamu by-product has been brought in to Waewae Pounamu in the last six months.

“We’re pleased with that result for the first six months. It’s come from Rimu, just south of Hokitika to Marsden, just south of Greymouth and has included a range of different stones. The  largest piece, a 1.5-tonne kawakawa boulder from the top of the Taramakau River, was a brought in from Kūmara,” Francois says. He adds that 19 miners have signed up to the agreement and five of those have already delivered stone. ”
Eventually, we hope to get to the point where it won’t be worth people selling on the black market and we can supply the pounamu market for a really good price. It’s all about protecting the resource and giving mana back to the stone and the iwi.”

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