Throughout pre-European Māori history, the South Island remained an important source of stone. There was no obsidian but there was an apparent abundance of stone for adzes. The main sources were along the alpine fault and its northern and southern extensions in Southland and Nelson. Argillite for adzes was found from Rangitoto (D'Urville Island) to the mountain range lying just east of Nelson.
D'Urville Island lies in the western reaches of Cook Strait, with its northern tip almost as close to Pātea in Taranaki as it is to Nelson in inner Tasman Bay. Tribes based there, therefore, had good access to the North Island for trade; much stone went north, and east through Cook Strait, to judge from the amount of Nel-
Pā on the Kai Kōura Peninsula
Five or six pā, several linked in pairs or groups, show on the edge of the high terrace in this 1942 vertical aerial photograph. They are Ngā Niho, above the township at the top of the photograph; and the various pā (unnamed) above South Bay. Ngā Niho has had its ditch ploughed in and the bank height 'enhanced' in recent times. The pā are all built on various levels of old marine terraces. The two pā to the south-east (bottom right, north-east of the isolated house and hedges) lie adjacent to water (in the gully). The easternmost one has a second ditch and bank which shows faintly. There is a dogleg section of ditch and bank defending the terrace edge at its westernmost extremity. The pā with the largest defended area, one of the largest in the South Island, is on the prominent point at left. It has an interior and exterior defensive line, with the exterior line not fully closed. However, the apparently incomplete defence takes advantage both of the upper slopes of the gully and the proximity of the adjacent pā. The defended area of the large unit is 280 m long by about 50 m (width varies); the prominent section of ditch and bank at left is 90 m long. The defensive form of these pā indicates pre-European occupation, but they were also occupied into the earlier part of the nineteenth century until the raids of Te Rauparaha in the late 1820s.
son argillite found in sites in the western and southern North Island. A photograph of a quarry at Samson Bay, not far from D'Urville Island and also in the Nelson mineral belt, is in chapter 5. In Southland, similar stone is available in inland and coastal localities but was only exploited on the coast; in the vicinity of Riverton and Bluff Harbour are extensive workings.
It appears in the same distinctive landscape as in Nelson, with hard rock protrusions lying above the general surface of the landscape. Nephrite (pounamu) was less used than argillite in the earlier periods for reasons that are not entirely clear.
It is tougher than argillite,
and was used late in pre-European history as a prestige trade good. Greenstone occurs in remote areas in geological formations similar to that of argillite, with the vegetation also stunted in the vicinity of the primary outcrops. Greenstone was also recovered from river-beds but the landscape imprint of this activity is not remarkable.