About us

Waewae Pounamu is a small, hapū-owned business that source, carve and sell traditional and contemporary pounamu treasures.

Additionally, we distribute orders for commercial clients, including companies and universities. 

We also wholesale for Ngāi Tahu Pounamu, who then distribute taonga to 70+ stores nation-wide.


Our Why

Providing genuine New Zealand greenstone carved by local artisans. 

Our membership with the Ngāi Tahu Pounamu authentication system guarantees that the greenstone was obtained by rightful means and treated with appropriate cultural care. 


The Legislation

In 1997, the New Zealand Government returned the rights of greenstone 
ownership to Te R
ūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, the elected tribal council of the iwi. 

Ngāi Tahu are therefore the kaitiaki of all South Island greenstone, the only known source of authentic New Zealand pounamu. This was a huge moment both for the tribe and for the greater identity of Aotearoa.   

In order to protect Pounamu in a sustainable and responsible way for future generations, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu have developed an authentication system to certify products made from genuine New Zealand Greenstone. Similar systems are commonly used throughout the world in industries such as diamonds, wool and organic foods.

Waewae Pounamu is proud to be part of the Ngāi Tahu Pounamu authentication system. All authenticated Ngāi Tahu Pounamu carry a unique traceability code that identifies the origin and whakapapa (genealogy) of the raw stone, how it was extracted and processed and who the artist was that carved it. This is the only way the buyer of the stone knows it has been obtained legitimately and carved responsibly.

Our membership in this programme means all Waewae Pounamu pieces carry a unique traceability barcode. When entered online this code identifies the origin and history of the carving, the system guaranteeing the stone was obtained by rightful means and treated with appropriate cultural care. 

Go to Ngāi Tahu Pounamu to learn more.