Historic find halts plans for restaurant

By Corazon Miller

STOPPED: The restaurant site and sign about the koiwi (human remains).PHOTO/FILE
STOPPED: The restaurant site and sign about the koiwi (human remains).PHOTO/FILE

The award-winning restaurant that took pride of place on Auckland's Long Bay Beach for over a decade may be gone forever after the discovery of historic human remains on the site.

Auckland Council has confirmed plans to re-establish the Long Bay Restaurant, which had been in operation for 12 years, have been halted "indefinitely".

Yesterday, regional parks manager Richard Hollier said the council, together with mana whenua, the existing licensee and Heritage New Zealand, had decided not to continue with the development of the beach-side restaurant.

The restaurant, which had Beef & Lamb Hallmark of Excellence awards for seven years running, had temporarily closed in May 2013 for the council to refurbish it. But after the discovery, the restaurant would be replaced with a "discovery site".

The council aimed to announce plans for the area - believed to be a burial site and potential place of past occupation and conflict - in the coming months.

Mr Hollier said the decision not to rebuild the restaurant had come out of consultation with Heritage New Zealand and with iwi that had tribal ties to the parkland.

"A closer working relationship with mana whenua has also emerged out of the situation. We continue to be guided by our iwi representatives on finalising the most appropriate final resting place for the koiwi that were unearthed during the construction works and on the best way to restore the discovery site."

Plans for a new restaurant elsewhere on the beach would not be possible due to unsuitable terrain, access difficulties and heritage areas. NZME


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