Museum of New Zealand
Te Papa Tongarewa
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Open every day 10am-6pm
(except Christmas Day)
Free entry for everyone
Charges apply to some short-term exhibitions and activities
An exhibition created by Te Papa working closely with Ngāi Tahu, featuring more than 200 pounamu taonga.
This exhibition tells the story of this most precious of stones, its significance for Māori, and its enduring value from ancient times until today.
The exhibition includes some very rare cultural taonga, including some 95 hei tiki, 20 mere, and four large pounamu touchstones, the largest of which, “Te Hurika”, weighs in at 170kg.
Detail of pounamu kōhatu, tahutahi variety. Photograph courtesy of Te Rūnanga O Makaawhio
The earliest pounamu pieces in the exhibition may be the toki, tools used for working wood. Some are thought to originate from early settlement times some 700-800 years ago, and replicate East Polynesian adze shapes.
Developed and presented by Te Papa and Ngāi Tahu.
The exhibition known in New Zealand as Kura Pounamu, Treasured stone of Aotearoa New Zealand was shown at Te Papa from September 2009 to July 2011. It was then reworked for touring internationally and was shown at five venues in China from November 2012 to June 2014 and in Paris under the title La pierre sacrée des Māori (Sacred stone of the Māori) in 2017.
Kura Pounamu: Our Treasured Stone is available as a touring exhibition now.
Marlborough Art Gallery, BlenheimDec 2023 – Feb 2024
Pātaka, Porirua18 Mar – 11 Jun 2023
Otago Museum, Ōtepoti Dunedin26 Mar – 28 Aug 2022
Nelson Provincial Museum Pupuri Taonga o Te Tai Ao, Whakatū Nelson24 Aug – 24 Nov 2019
Canterbury Museum, Ōtautahi Christchurch15 Dec 2018 – 3 Jun 2019
Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, Paris, France22 May – 1 Oct 2017
Planning to visit? Check the venue website for confirmed dates.
Jake Yocum, Touring Exhibition ManagerPhone: +64 (0)4 381 7317Email: email@example.com
Te Papa exhibitions on tour.