Boulder seller to persist

A Moeraki boulder put up for sale by a secondhand store in Christchurch. Photo supplied.
A Moeraki boulder put up for sale by a secondhand store in Christchurch. Photo supplied.
A Christchurch second-hand shop will continue to try to sell what it claims is a small Moeraki boulder for almost $1000, even though some people have asked the outlet to return the boulder to its natural home on Koekohe beach, north of Moeraki.

The boulder, measuring 17cm in diameter, is being sold by second-hand and antique store Circa for $995.

Store owner Leonard Wills said the boulder, which was also listed on an online auction site, had been handed down through his family from the 1880s.

Mr Wills said his great-grandfather had been given the boulder as part of a swap deal for another item, and it had been passed down from father to son since.

He said although there had been no interested buyers for the boulder, he had received comments from people asking him to ''put the thing back''.

''One person a week says why don't you take it back to Moeraki.''

However, he was still determined to sell the item, he said.

Te Runanga O Moeraki chairman Patrick Tipa said although the boulders were protected from removal, he was aware of other cases in which boulders had been put up for sale, mostly on online auctions.

Some boulders had been removed within the past two months, he said.

Mr Tipa said the boulders had been protected for more than 10 years.

''The boulders at Moeraki are an important cultural taonga. They are protected with legislation that covers reserves. We consider the best place to experience and enjoy the boulders is in their natural environment.''

The Moeraki Boulders are a group of very large spherical stones which scientists say are concretions exposed through shoreline erosion on coastal cliffs above the beach.

- Last night a second Moeraki Boulder was being advertised on an online auction site, listed by a Christchurch seller, with a starting price of $795.

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