Pounamu is the Maori name for greenstone or jade. It is found in abundance along the West Coast, both in the rivers and on the coast. Pounamu is highly prized by the Maori, both for its strength and beauty. Control over Pounamu in its natural state has been vested to the Maori tribe Ngāi Tahu. There are strict limitations on where Pounamu may be taken from. A symbol of status, Pounamu still holds sacred meaning to the Maori.
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