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419 Great King Street Dunedin, New Zealand

Ancient Weapon Surfaces on the Taieri


For immediate release


Ancient weapon surfaces on the Taieri


The Otago Museum is very excited by a donation it has just received. Yesterday, some whitebaiters fishing on the Taieri River near The Chimneys found a toro (spear) poking out of the water about a foot.

They lifted it out, and thinking they had found a seven-feet long taiaha, called the Museum to advise they were bringing it in.

The toro is currently in the Museum’s isolation room, protected in plastic. It is likely to be carved from mānuka and estimated to be 200 years old.

It was found in an area where local tradition has it that a chief was killed mid-flight, jumping off a cliff known as Māori Leap to escape his pursuers – it may be difficult to prove a connection to this story (but it’s a great one!)


For more information:
Hannah Molloy
Otago Museum Marketing Manager