Corazon Miller is a NZ Herald reporter

Top Auckland restaurant may be gone forever

Long Bay Restaurant in 2008. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Long Bay Restaurant in 2008. Photo / Paul Estcourt

The award-winning restaurant that took pride of place on Auckland's Long Bay Beach for over a decade may be gone forever after the discovery of historic human remains on the site.

Auckland Council has confirmed plans to re-establish the Long Bay Restaurant, which had been in operation for 12 years, have been halted "indefinitely".

Today, regional parks manager Richard Hollier, said the council, together with mana whenua, the existing restaurant licensee and Heritage New Zealand had decided not to continue with the development of the beach-side restaurant.

The restaurant, which had Beef & Lamb Hallmark of Excellence awards for seven years running, had temporarily closed in May 2013 for council to refurbish it.

The restaurant had temporarily closed in May 2013 for refurbishments. Photo / Greg Bowker
The restaurant had temporarily closed in May 2013 for refurbishments. Photo / Greg Bowker

When operating, the restaurant had received favourable reviews from locals and visitors.

But following the historic discovery the restaurant would be replaced with a "discovery site". Council aimed to announce plans for the area -- believed to be a burial site and potential place of past occupation and conflict -- in the coming months.

Mr Hollier said the decision not to rebuild the restaurant had come out of consultation with Heritage New Zealand and with iwi that had tribal ties to the parkland.

The restaurant had Beef & Lamb Hallmark of Excellence awards for seven years running. Photo / Doug Sherring
The restaurant had Beef & Lamb Hallmark of Excellence awards for seven years running. Photo / Doug Sherring

"A closer working relationship with mana whenua has also emerged out of the situation. We continue to be guided by our iwi representatives on finalising the most appropriate final resting place for the koiwi that were unearthed during the construction works and on the best way to restore the discovery site."

Plans for a new restaurant for the park elsewhere on the beach would not be possible due to unsuitable terrain, access difficulties and other heritage areas. There was however a cafe-style food service that would remain by the beach.

- NZ Herald

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