Archaeological investigations before and during construction have helped piece together strong evidence of the importance of the Kāpiti Coast to Māori as a trading route and source of kai (food). Huge middens (shell heaps) and cutting tools made of non-local materials are among the finds. Also, a giant totara log has been discovered in peat at the Peka Peka end of construction. It has been given back to local iwi to be carefully dried and carved.
Archaeological monitoring has been carried out throughout construction. The project archaeologist and an iwi representative of Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai, which has tribal jurisdiction of the project area, were present whenever the project breaks new ground. All artefacts are being sent to the University of Otago to be analysed, catalogued and photographed before being returned to iwi. More information on archaeology can be found in the supporting information to the assessment of effects [PDF, 9.5 MB]. And in 2017, further information will be made available highlighting the findings of these investigations.
Wellington and Manawatu Railway bridge over Waikanae River. 1845-1893 (Levin, William Hort)
North Coast, Cook Strait – from Horokiri Pass, Kapiti (1846) (Collinson, Thomas Bernard)