Independent commissioners acting for Waikato Regional Council have turned down an application for consents to re-open the Pukeatua quarry just south of Maungatautari.
It followed evidence from the Raukawa Charitable Trust, Parawera Marae, Ngati Koroki Kahukura and Ngati Haua that the old quarry on the Arapuni-Kihikihi Road was an historic pa site.
The commissioners – Peter Crawford and Shane Solomon – found that on balance of probability the location of Hangahanga Pa is likely to be on the Pukeatua quarry site.
The commissioners noted that the pa site was identified as requiring archaeological protection as part of a Waipa District Council resource consent granted in 1997. But no investigation or protection was undertaken prior to quarrying commencing and quarrying appeared to have destroyed a significant portion of what was thought to be the pa site.
However, the commissioners said: “The remnant hill site, despite approved and illegal quarrying activity, remains an outstanding physical feature.”
They said that granting the consents would “give rise to significant adverse archaeological and cultural effects which cannot be avoided or remedied”.
The resource consent applications by C Smith and D & M Stewart were therefore formally declined.