26 Jan 2012

Taranaki hapu to meet with Historic Places Trust over artefacts

6:49 am on 26 January 2012

A north Taranaki hapu meets with the New Plymouth District Council, and the Historic Places Trust on Friday after Maori artefacts were found close to an urupa or burial site in Waitara.

The discovery three weeks ago of an ancient axe head and hangi stones has forced a local couple to halt construction on their section.

An Otaraua hapu spokesperson, Donna Eriwata, says the land is an old battleground where Maori and British troops fought in 1861 and is near a cemetery.

She says the property owners, Dean and Lynn Pearce, who will be also be at Friday's meeting, were informed about the historical significance of the area.

Ms Eriwata says the correct process should have been followed and the Historic Places Trust should have been involved when the land was first subdivided.

She says the hapu told the past and present owners of the block there was a 90% chance of digging up relics.