Human remains found at Paekākāriki Surf Club

Human remains found at Paekākāriki Surf Club

During construction, two kōiwi – or human remains – were found in the Paekākāriki Surf Club building.

Police confirmed that two separate discoveries of human remains have been made since earthworks began in early May.

In 2019, the Greater Wellington Regional Council identified a serious risk to the coastal edge of Queen Elizabeth Park.

The old building had been demolished due to coastal erosion caused by climate change.

The development plan started six weeks ago, but was halted due to the finds.

Ecosystems and community manager David Boone said the kōiwi are meaningful to Ngāti Toa.

“It is an ancient area that has long been used by the ancestors of Ngāti Toa and Ngāti Haumia,” he said.

“It was really no surprise that there was evidence of activity at the site from the pre-settlement era.”

Ngāti Toa declined to comment to RNZ.

Police said both discoveries have been referred to the coroner.

Reconstruction has now resumed.