Someone went out on a limb here

Remember the Stuff article on April 30? Quote.

What is believed to be a partially complete waka has been uncovered during excavation work on a motorway project in Puhoi, north Auckland. […]

The waka is thought to be about 10 metres long and still connected to the trunk of a kauri tree.[…]

Crown/M?ori Relations Minister Kelvin Davis said it was a “significant discovery” that would grow Kiwis’ understanding of where and how waka were made.

“It reinforces traditional korero around the use of resources including waka forests, where particular trees were identified and nurtured for waka construction.”

Hunt said work had ceased immediately and an onsite archaeologist was notified, along with iwi partners H?kai Nuku.

Project archaeologist Sarah Phear was excited at the find, which she believed was the first waka to be found still under construction.

It was not yet known how old the waka was, who it belonged to or how it came to be left in an unfinished state.[…]

Wilcox said there was much excitement from all involved at the find.

“Especially an unfinished one because there is actually more to learn from how they did it.”

But this was tempered with investigating and understanding why it was covered over before it was finished, he said.

“Did they bury it for a reason … and should we put it back in the ground?”

But this was a conversation to be had after work was done to conserve the waka and stop it from turning to dust, Wilcox said.[…] End of quote.

Maori TV gave us more cultural background: Quote.

Work continued at one of the region’s largest archaeological finds this morning, as sediment was removed from the inside of what is?believed to be a ‘waka k?kau,’ or incomplete?vessel at ?kahu Inlet, north of Auckland.

“It’s sad for us that this waka had to be uncovered, its sad that it has to be moved, because it was left there for a purpose” says Gina Moses-Te Kani of local iwi authority, H?kai Nuku.

Media gathered today as the first members of the public were allowed to visit the site where this waka k?uri was uncovered two weeks ago.

Local iwi have?agreed to display their prized possession again to the world.

Head representative for?H?kai Nuku, Glenn Wilcox says the discovery of the waka is “a?sign of love, a sign of caring. That’s what it is to me, that’s the reason they have found this vessel as a sign from our ancestors”.

The motorway extension, Ara T?hono P?hoi to Warkworth is the 18.5km stretch of road from the Johnstone’s Hill tunnels to north of Warkworth.

Local iwi have confirmed today that?there will be a commemoration of the discovery when the motorway is complete. […]

“It’s also an opportunity for us to work together with archaeologists and bring our own traditional knowledge on waka practice,” says Moses-Te Kani.

The conglomerate of iwi responsible for the protection of the region, H?kai Nuku are not yet ready to disclose when in fact the vessel will be fully removed from the site.

It has yet to been decided where the vessel will find its final resting place. End of quote.

Breaking news: Quote.

Some Mahurangi residents have been proved correct after the so called waka discovered in Puhoi by motorway contractors has been confirmed to be nothing more than a kauri tree trunk.

[…] However, after being completely excavated from the site this week archeologists could confirm that it was a 17-metre long kauri tree.

Hokai Nuku spokesperson Gena Moses-Te Kani agrees with this assessment, but requested the tree be buried close to where it was found.

After examination they have agreed to bury it near its original location rather than preserve it.[…] End of quote.

Well, there goes another koha!