When Māori first arrived in New Zealand they discovered pounamu (NZ Jade) and used this extremely hard green stone to make weapons, tools and jewellery. It became a prized possession of Ngāi Tahu.
Pounamu means green stone – and this became another name for this resource.
Pounamu is found throughout the South Island (which is known to Māori as Te Wai Pounamu) with the main deposits coming from the West Coast.
To Māori, Pounamu is considered a taonga or treasure and today all Pounamu found in the natural environment is owned by Ngāi Tahu.
Pounamu can be hand carved into a wide range of jewellery, sculptures and ornaments.
Established in 1962 Westland Greenstone is one of the leading pounamu carving and manufacturing companies working in the NZ tourism industry. The company is based in Hokitika and employs a team of skilled carvers
to produce a wide range of jewellery and accessories. These are sold in our Hokitika retail shop and in other outlets which the company owns throughout the South Island.
Westland Greenstone has always specialised in carving genuine NZ pounamu.