An­cient kauri log an ex­cit­ing find

The Northland Age - - Local News - By Peter de Graaf

A mas­sive 60-tonne swamp kauri log dis­cov­ered dur­ing ex­ca­va­tions for a new power sta­tion at Nga¯wha¯ has been gifted to the lo­cal marae.

The 16m log will be trans­ported to Nga¯wha¯ Marae to­day, where a po¯whiri will be held to wel­come the an­cient tree into the hapu¯’s care.

While car­bon-dat­ing has yet to be car­ried out the tree could have been buried and pre­served in clay as long as 50,000 years ago.

Top En­ergy chief ex­ec­u­tive Rus­sell Shaw said the trunk was dis­cov­ered at 9m dur­ing lev­el­ling of the site in Fe­bru­ary, and is the only swamp kauri find at the power sta­tion site to date.

Shaw said the un­ex­pected dis­cov­ery gen­er­ated a great deal of ex­cite­ment.

The area around the log was care­fully dug out while iwi was con­sulted and the North­land Re­gional Coun­cil and Min­istry of Pri­mary In­dus­tries ad­vised.

A karakia was con­ducted by kauma¯tua Ed­die Court when Nga¯wha¯ Marae Trustees Komiti mem­bers and ad­vi­sors vis­ited the site on Fe­bru­ary 9.

Shaw said the an­cient log should come un­der the guardian­ship of Nga¯wha¯ Marae. Komiti chair­man Richard Wood­man de­scribed the rem­nant as a pre­cious cul­tural arte­fact.

Nga¯wha¯ Marae Trustees would treat the taonga with ut­most re­spect and were hold­ing it for pur­poses that would en­hance the hapu¯’s cul­tural iden­tity.

The log was cut into three sec­tions of about 20 tonnes each to al­low it to be trans­ported to the marae.

Earth­works for the geo­ther­mal power sta­tion ex­pan­sion started in 2017 and will con­tinue un­til July this year, when con­struc­tion will be­gin.

It is due to be com­pleted in late 2020.

PIC­TURE / TOP EN­ERGY

Richard Wood­man with the an­cient kauri log.

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