Long Bay restaurant development abandoned following bones discovery

By Numia Ponika-Rangi
  • Auckland

After more than two years of disruptions, redevelopment of a beachfront restaurant at Long Bay Regional Park have been abandoned.  The cause of the delays have been due to the discovery of pre-European bones, which are still being unearthed today.

The redevelopment site of the Long Bay Restaurant has been plagued with problems for the past two years, due to the unearthing of pre-European bones, bone tools and shell beads.

Rereata Makiha from Auckland Council says, "When the digging began for the redevelopment of the land, bones were unearthed and that's the first time work was halted and an excavation team was brought in."

Archaeologist Matt Campbell, "We believe there may be another three at least still there that we are expecting to find and there may be more, we can't be certain of anything until we complete it really."

This has been an important development for the local tribes of the area Ngāti Manuhiri, Ngāti Pāoa, Kaipara, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Te Kawerau-a-Maki who initially supported consent applications to the council.

Makiha says, "Local tribes were in support of the works continuing if there was only one bone fragment found, however as more bones and other items kept getting unearthed, they began to feel pressure to rethink their stance."

"It's been decided not to continue with the build of the restaurant here but we're gonna complete our excavation to lift all the kōiwi that are within that area," says Campbell.

History recalls a battle out in the bay where the water ran red with blood, and the dead were buried on this land.