September 03, 2012
Book shop forfeits tahutahi pounamu
A Greymouth district court judge has ordered that 39 pieces of pounamu seized from a Franz Josef bookshop last year must be returned to Ngai Tahu.
Judge Gary MacAskill says Ngai Tahu has sole rights to the distinctive tahutahi or snowflake jade and has not authorised its use or sale.
Tahutahi pounamu is found only on the Cascade Plateau south of Haast.
Police seized the stone after a Ngai Tahu representative spotted them on the shelves of the Take Note Franz Josef bookshop, but they did not lay charges against the owner of the store.