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The water droplet-shaped piece was taken from Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa sometime before 6am by a man dressed in black with his face obscured.
Police are speaking to a 34-year-old man in relation to the burglary.
A blessing for the recovered ponamu was held today at Whare o te Waipounamu in Addington.
The sculpture will now be returned to Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa.
It was made from one of the largest greenstone boulders ever found in the South Island.