11 May 2011

Ambergris hailed as gift from the gods

5:57 am on 11 May 2011

A south Wairarapa hapu is hailing the find of a large lump of ambergris as like a gift from the gods.

Haami Te Whaiti from Ngati Hinewaka says a group from Kohunui Marae had gathered at a beach near Mangatoetoe last August to bless and bury the remains of an 18 metre beached bull sperm whale.

Waatea News reports a 40kg lump of the waxy substance, which is used in the perfume industry, literally fell from the whale before their eyes.

Haami Te Whaiti says the price a French perfumer paid for the ambergris is confidential, but it was a major contribution to the cost of rebuilding Kohunui marae.