January 19, 2016
Long Bay bones have spoken.
Plans for a large-scale restaurant on Long Bay Regional Park have been scrapped because the site has been found to be an ancestral burial ground.
Work on the site was halted 18 months ago when koiwi or historic human remains were unearthed.
Regional parks manager Richard Hollier says the Auckland Council has since been working with Mana Whenua, the licensee and Heritage New Zealand on how to manage the situation.
All parties including the licensee have now decided the building can not proceed, and there is no suitable alternate site on the park.
A kiosk or cafÃ©-style food service will remain on the park, which also offers self-catering picnic sites, barbecue areas, Auckland’s largest all-access children’s playground, walking tracks, a historic homestead and one of the east coast’s most popular white sandy beaches.
Mr Hollier says it is now understood the foreshore area was a burial site and potentially a site of occupation and perhaps conflict in the past.
The council is working with iwi representatives on an appropriate final resting place for the koiwi, and also how to restore the site where they were found.
He says the situation has led to a closer working relationship with Mana Whenua.
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