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Published: 27 May 2022

By Andy Ross

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The Arahura River

On the West Coast of the South Island, pounamu can be found on beaches and in rivers up and down the region. 

Pounamu, New Zealand greenstone or jade, is important in New Zealand for its cultural and spiritual meaning. (You can read more about the mineral here and here.) The river that much of the stone comes from in this area is the Arahura, a short drive from the town of Hokitika, which is fifty or so kms down the coast from Greymouth/ Mawhera. Hokitika is a hub for tourism and also a place where pounamu can be found on the beach from where it can be collected. (Picking up the stones from rivers is strictly forbidden but allowed on beaches.) This week we took a trip up the river to see where the pounamu comes from and along the way met a trio of collectors who were heading into the river to find their own treasure. 

These are some photographs of the Arahura that are going to be used as the basis for designing a new cloth. Isn't it a gorgeous place?