Human bones have been found after a picnic table tumbled into a hole caused by heavy rain and stormwater runoff at Anzac Bay, near Waihi Beach.
Western Bay of Plenty District Council's manager of reserves and facilities Peter Watson said police have been to the site along with council staff, Otawhiwhi Marae representatives and a Historic Places Trust archeologist.
The archeologist identified the bones as old Maori bones.
The council has secured the area and is working with representatives from the marae on the protocols that need to be followed.
Otawhiwhi kaumatua still need to discuss the issue further.
"Our intention is to get the matter resolved and reinstate the site to make it safe for the public and to give these koiwi [bones] the proper respect,'" Mr Watson said.
"There were other bones discovered right next to this site last year.
"The koiwi were removed and reinterred at an urupa [cemetery].''
The council will work with Otawhiwhi Marae to try to prevent this from happening again.
"We would need to intercept the waterflow to take it away from the area where the bones have been found,'' said Mr Watson.
But this will need discussion between the interested parties to ensure the best outcome and a practical way of dealing with the stormwater.