Pounamu Management Areas

Pounamu Management Areas occur in areas where alluvial gold mines are likely to uncover pounamu owned by Ngāi Tahu.

Pounamu can be a common incidental discovery for alluvial gold miners in some parts of the West Coast of the South Island. In these areas it is important to understand how discovery of pounamu should be treated.

The Ngai Tahu (Pounamu Vesting) Act 1997 stipulates that Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (Ngāi Tahu) owns all pounamu existing in its natural condition within the takiwā of Ngāi Tahu Whānui. Therefore since the Act came into force in 1997, any miners awarded permits granted under the Crown Minerals Act do not have rights to pounamu.

Removal of pounamu without Ngāi Tahu's agreement is unlawful.

All permit holders in pounamu management areas are encouraged to engage with Ngāi Tahu, declare finds and reach agreement on how incidental discoveries of pounamu will be dealt with. New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals notifies affected permit holders of their obligations around pounamu and provides them with the contacts for the relevant papatipu runanga.

Please refer to the following Guidance for permit holders and applicants in Pounamu Management Areas [PDF 996KB].

For more information visit the Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu website.

If you have any questions, please contact NZP&M.

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