The community has advised City Council of several sites on the proposed road where people may be buried and we thank Council for helping to set up some interesting and informative meetings between Council (Stephen Harte), the archaeologist (Mary O'Keefe) and the community including a site visit.
What happens from this point on?
Will the location of bodies be verified prior to Council applying for earthwork consents bearing in mind the relevant legislation (Burial & Cremation Act, Historic Places Trust Act and Resource Management Act)?
City Council response
A locally known grave site has been identified as being potentially on or near the proposed road alignment and is being investigated with local public input.
The next step is for this site to be “ground truthed” following some indications of a grave site from earlier ground penetrating radar survey information of the general area. If a grave is established then we will work with the community to find a suitable way to recognised and acknowledge its existence.
This may mean the body will need to be moved and some commemoration constructed that reflects the communities wishes. It is expected that any dealings with the gravesite will be concluded before the start of any earthworks.
There will be no additional searches conducted outside the proposed road alignment for any other possible grave sites, an archaeology report will be included in any consent applications lodged and it is expected that an archaeologist will be present on site during the early earthworks phase to check for any other sites of archaeological interest.