Ngāi Tahu gift pounamu to NZ Olympians

By Moana Makapelu Lee
  • South Island

Ngāi Tahu leaders and NZ Olympics committee are about to announce a formal partnership. Ngāi Tahu iwi has supported the NZOC for over ten years by gifting NZ athlete’s pounamu, and tonight they'll be presenting some more taonga to executive members of the committee.

A pounamu taonga will be presented to the New Zealand Olympic team Chef de Mission Rob Waddell and New Zealand Paralympic Chef de Mission, Ben Lucas as a sign of respect.

There are 480 being gifted all together, one for each Olympic and Paralympic athlete competing in Rio. We were hoping to get a sneak peak of the greenstones, however, they are all being kept in boxes to ensure the athletes get to see their taonga first when they receive them in Rio.

The pounamu was carved by three descendants of Ngāti Waewae hapū. 

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