Trading Taonga: The Story of Pounamu
by Matthew Rout (Ngāi Tahu)
Pounamu is a taonga with deep spiritual significance to Māori. Its beauty, usefulness, and cultural significance made it a highly prized resource that was traded throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. This article explores the pounamu trade from the 1770s through to the present day, discussing the impact of colonisation on the trade of pounamu and how Ngāi Tahu regained kaitiakitanga of pounamu through the Treaty settlement process.