1 Dec 2012

Worries about remains of wreck while in storage

1:24 pm on 1 December 2012

Maritime archaeologists are worried a 19th century shipwreck in Wellington will be destroyed by plans to move it into storage.

The Canadian ship Inconstant was built in 1847 and ran aground at Pencarrow in 1849 while en route from Australia to Peru via Wellington.

The hulk was bought by merchant John Plimmer for £80 and initially renamed Noah's Ark after he had it towed to what is now Lambton Quay for an office and warehouse.

In 1887, the Ark was demolished to make way for an office building on reclaimed land.

The wreck was rediscovered beneath the Old Bank Arcade opposite Plimmer's Steps in 1997 and 33 tonnes of timber was shifted to a building on the waterfront for preservation in special fluid.

The Maritime Archaeological Association says Wellington City Council now wants the timber moved into dry storage in a warehouse while the building undergoes earthquake strengthening.

It says thiscould cause the timber to crumble and is campaigning for the council to find a more appropriate way to preserve it.