Nephrite jade occurs in three terranes (Dun Mountain-Maitai, Caples and Torlesse) in New Zealand, where it is associated with ultramafic and ophiolitic rocks in narrow metasomatic reaction zones at the margins of serpentinite (having harzburgite/gabbro/dolerite precursors) with silicic metasediments and metavolcanics. True nephrite fabrics are developed only locally where marginal shearing is intense, and late in the metamorphic history. 87Sr/ 86Sr values of these nephrites do not display the primitive values of their gabbro/dolerite precursor component i.e. 0.7030-0.7035, as expected if formed during serpentinisation. Rather, the nephrites have more evolved 87Sr/ 86Sr values inherited from the metasediment component at a later stage, and which fall within particular terrane groups: Dun Mountain-Maitai 0.7045-0.7060, Caples 0.7058-0.7075 and Torlesse 0.7085-0.7110. Rb-Sr ages and initial 87Sr/ 86Sr ratios of the metasediment component from in situ nephrite localities, when compared with their counterparts throughout the host terrane, show that nephrite Sr isotopic compositions are characteristic of the host terrane.