“Can Pounamu only be gifted?”

Can Pounamu only be gifted?  This is a reasonably common idea in NZ but I’m not sure how prevalent it is in practice.  I have only heard of it in regards to Pounamu. 

I suspect the idea of buying Pounamu individually now with money would be very different to the way Maori would have received Pounamu traditionally.

My whole background as a maker started and is motivated by making objects I like and would want to own/wear so I’ve made all my own carvings.  I also like buying things (from vegetables through to tools) from the maker/grower to be connected to the object through meeting and talking to the person that made it. So I would have no problem buying a piece for myself.

 Like all things different people have other opinions. I tell people that ask me my ideas and then suggest they go with what they are comfortable with.