Pounamu adze/toki unearthed in Tauranga CBD dig a ‘significant taonga’Posted by On

The pounamu adze/toki unearthed in Tauranga’s CBD has been described as a ‘rare’ find. Photo / Supplied

A pounamu toki unearthed from a building site in Tauranga’s CBD may be more than 500 years old, archaeological investigations have found.

The greenstone tool, also known as an adze, has been described as a “very significant taonga”.

It was found last month near The Strand, between Hamilton and Harington Sts, under a former carpark that will soon become JWL Investments’ multi million dollar Northern Quarter development.

The Northern Quarter commercial building coming to the Tauranga waterfront. Photo / Supplied
The Northern Quarter commercial building coming to the Tauranga waterfront. Photo / Supplied

Ken Phillips, archaeology consultant with Archaeologists BOP, said the adze was a “rare” find.

“Because the CBD and particularly The Strand was the location of early Māori settlement and cultivation, we anticipated finding evidence of this activity.

“However, the style of the adze suggests it is very old – probably pre AD1500. It is a very significant taonga.”

He said local hapū Ngāi Tamarawaho settled on the Te Papa Peninsular at least 700 years ago. Early European commercial development began in The Strand area in the early 1860s.

Evidence of both had been found and Phillips hoped to find further archaeological features and artefacts before the site investigations wrapped up later this month.

He said the toki had been sent to Auckland for expert analysis, after which it would be returned to the hapu.

Ngāi Tamarawaho iwi monitor Barry Ngatoko told the Bay of Plenty…

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