Visit The Pounamu Man – New Zealand Greenstone

Visit The Pounamu Man – New Zealand Greenstone

July 25, 2017 Blog 8

Greenstone and New Zealand jade are both names for the hard, durable highly valued green stone, traditionally used by New Zealand Māori for making tools, weapons and jewellery. Pounamu is its traditional Māori name.

Getting There

If you’re traveling South from Cape Foulwind, I recommend a stop at The Pounamu Man in Charleston, a leisurely 20-30 minute drive South from Cape Foulwind.

Our Visit to The Pounamu Man, Charleston

Paul Honey is the Pounamu Man; and he’s a born and bred coaster.

Whilst Paul has an unassuming showroom in the front of his home, there’s a veritable treasure trove of Pounamu on display. Don’t be put off by the rustic exterior, or the less than pristine display cabinets – if you are after some genuine West Coast Pounamu at affordable prices, this is the place to go.
Pounamu refers to several types of hard, durable and highly valued nephrite jade, bowenite, or serpentinite stone found in southern New Zealand.

Pounamu is the Māori name. These rocks are also generically known as “greenstone” in New Zealand English. – Wikapedia

Although it’s increasingly common for people to buy a piece of greenstone for themselves, traditionally Maori believe Pounamu should be gifted. Some pieces were recognized as having their own spirits, choosing their wearer, so carving or taking one for yourself was extremely bad luck.

This tradition was in the back of my mind when I picked out two lovely Pounamu necklaces for my Mum & Aunt, the day we visited the Pounamu Man in Charleston. I wanted them both to have a little piece of the beautiful West Coast to remember their trip to the South Island.


More Information

Email Paul Honey, The Pounamu Man, Charleston

There are a number of Westport Retailers who also have a range of Pounamu and Greenstone Jewellery.

A few are listed below;

  • Surf Fevah, 128 Palmerston St, Westport, Ph 03 789 6911
  • Heritage Jewellers, 174 Palmerston Street, Westport, Ph 03 789 8630
  • The cute little Art Gallery next to Freckles Cafe Palmerston St, Westport

For more information about West Coast Pounamu, visit the Tourism West Coast website


West Coast Untamed Natural Wilderness


8 Responses

  1. Courtney says:

    Wow, great information! I had no idea this was a thing. I plan to take a trip to Aus/NZ next winter, and I will definitely be looking into this. What a fantastic keepsake! If I’m traveling with a companion… does it work out if we each by each other one?! Rules are meant to be … bent 🙂

    • admin says:

      Hi Courtney, thanks for dropping by. Yes I think it’s okay if you buy each other a piece, the important thing is that you choose it and give it to your friend. Paul is great and will help you understand any special significance of the carving design and stone. I was given a piece of greenstone by a close friend many years ago, and it still feels very special and a little sacred. If you ever visit NZ, you’ll have to head down the West Coast and drop in 🙂 Cheers, Karen

  2. Lavinia Reihana-Moemate says:

    Kia Ora Paul Honey
    I was hoping to get your telephone number to ask for some specific pieces please, bank details, thanks

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