Bones found in Northland laid to rest

Bones found in Northland laid to rest


At approximately 9am on Saturday 17th December 2016 Police received a report that human remains had been found in an eroding area of sand at a beach in Motukahakaha (Paradise Bay), Northland.

Police attended the scene later that morning, conducting an initial scene examination, before securing the immediate area. Local iwi and Heritage New Zealand’s regional archaeologist were then engaged to ensure correct processes of all stakeholders were followed.   

At first light this morning Police revisited the scene, this time accompanied by local Kaumātua Dave Henare and archaeologist James Robinson (Heritage New Zealand). A blessing was carried out by Mr Henare before detailed examination and the subsequent uplifting of the remains.

Initial determination is that the remains are from a pre-Christian burial and are likely to be several hundred years old. The complete skeleton appears to be that of an adult female who has passed from natural causes. Mr Henare confirmed that there have been similar discoveries in this area before.

The remains have since been laid to rest in a wahitapu (urupa) called Patau in Waimahana Bay.


Issued by the Police Media Centre