The historic wreck of a more than century-old Mangawhai-built schooner will soon return to the coastal town.
"Mangawhai has a long history and this ship is a part of that," Anna Curnow, Kaipara Deputy Mayor said of the return of the Daring.
The 158-year-old kauri Daring was built in Mangawhai in 1863.
Jim Wintle, Mangawhai Daring Trust chairman, said getting the Daring back was exciting.
"Another major step forward in the incredible journey of the Daring and bringing her home," he said.
Larry Paul, Mangawhai Daring Trust spokesman, said the ship was the only example of its type in the world and attracting international interest.
"It's an incredible story," Curnow said.
The Daring has been in a Hobsonville, Auckland superyacht facility since her rescue and will be returning in about a month.
Paul gave a presentation about the Daring to Kaipara District Council (KDC)'s council meeting in Mangawhai last week where councillors voted to allow it to sit in the council's Mangawhai Community Park alongside Mangawhai Museum for a three-year conservation project.
Curnow said discussion needed to follow about where the Daring would eventually reside. But it would first come to Mangawhai for important conservation work.
Cr Peter Wethey said the Daring was of huge historic value for the area and New Zealand.
Paul said Heritage New Zealand had allowed the excavation because the Daring was a globally important wreck.
The historic heritage agency had also required conservation work to be done as part of that permission.
He said the Daring was to New Zealand what the Mary Rose was to England.
Paul said this would be the focus of efforts in the Daring's new three-year resting place. Effort was focused on conservation rather than full restoration as the wreck's state wasn't up for the latter.
Core samples of the kauri used in the ship had been sent to Victoria University to understand the timber's cellular structure and hence the best conservation options. Freshwater misting would be part of conservation processes used.
Public access to Daring is not allowed during the three-year conservation project due to health and safety considerations.
Mangawhai once had a strong shipbuilding and maritime community with Nova Scotians contributing to this. Boat builder Donald McInnes built the Daring for two Onehunga Auckland men, John Matheson and John Rattray.
The 17-metre schooner was first wrecked at the mouth of the Waikato River about a year after her 1863 launch. She was then wrecked a second time the following year after getting blown ashore in a storm on to Rangahia, Muriwai Beach near Kaipara Harbour's South Head.
The Daring was dug out of the sand in 2018 in a huge rescue operation after windblown sands shifted to uncover its 152-year-old secret resting place.
Paul was among 30 people who carried out the rescue. Rescuers slept on the beach overnight and took 10 days with diggers and more to get the 31-tonne, gaff-rigged, two-masted ship out of the sand.
"When it came out of the sand, its timbers looked like freshly sawn kauri, unbelievably preserved in the ironsands of the west coast," Paul said.
Dr Jason Smith, Kaipara Mayor, said those behind the two-year mission to get the schooner back to Mangawhai had worked hard to satisfy council questions around the project. These people included trustees and others from the Mangawhai Museum, Mangawhai Daring Trust, Mangawhai Historic Village, Mangawhai Community Park and council staff.
Paul said international archaeologists and conservators had visited the recovered ship.
He said the Daring's design had been the truck of New Zealand. She was based in Onehunga and carried goods around the coast before there were roads or rail - 10 years ahead of the first flat-bottomed scows that followed.
The Daring is made from kauri and Muntz metal brass alloy sheathing.
Paul said the Daring offered cultural, maritime, historic and educational opportunities.
Artefacts were also recovered from the ship including shoes and bottle tops taken off bottles by sword.