Auckland Council has covered the midden with geotextile cloth and fenced it off to protect it from weather. Photo Silvia Massa

An upgrade to the playground at Little Oneroa was halted last month when a shell midden was uncovered during excavation work. Construction restarted on Monday but Auckland Council is still waiting for instructions from Heritage New Zealand/Pouhere Taonga on when they can restart work on the playground edging.

“They [shell middens] provide valuable insights into past human activities, including dietary practices, cultural practices and environmental conditions,” says Heritage New Zealand’s Adrienne Hannan. “They are important archaeological resources that contribute to our understanding of societies over time and their interactions with the natural environment.” 

Auckland Council operations manager Shane Hogg says the council is following advice from Heritage New Zealand and is consulting iwi as well as making some minor modifications of the playground design.

“Our next steps are to obtain an archaeological authority to allow the playground edging works to be completed and for our contractors to confirm a date when works can recommence. Any further excavation works will be monitored by an archaeologist.” 

 • Silvia Massa

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