22 Dec 2009

Maori canoe found at Muriwai could be pre-European

4:59 pm on 22 December 2009

A Maori canoe that could date back to pre-European times has been discovered at Muriwai Beach, on Auckland's west coast.

The waka, which is between 7 and 8 metres long, was found by a member of the public on Friday, who saw the end of it sticking out of the sand. It was excavated from the beach on Tuesday.

The Auckland Regional Council says the canoe is a waka tiwai, a type of craft that was used for fishing.

The Muriwai Regional Park head ranger, Scott da Silva, says part of the waka is in a good condition, with some shaping and carving still intact.

He says the person who found the waka thought it was driftwood, but dug around it and realised it was a far more exciting find.

Mr da Silva says the council is talking to local iwi to determine what will happen to the waka, but it is likely preservation work will be carried out.