Work is to start on removing human bones from a restaurant building site at Auckland's Long Bay Regional Park.

Discovery of the ancient bones has twice stopped the rebuild of the formerly popular restaurant on the beachfront, the latest in November 2014.

The site has been sealed while Auckland Council sought approval from Heritage New Zealand, with the support of iwi and hapu, to clear the whole site.

Approval has been now given and site works are expected to start early October and take about a month, said northern regional parks principal ranger Mathew Vujcich.


Works will be under archaeological provisions of the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act and involve clearing vegetation, carefully excavating the bones (koiwi) for relocation off the park, and clearing concrete block walls and floor slab and timber structures remaining from the former restaurant.

"Work will be carried out by approved archaeologists and we have also been working closely with local iwi to establish a set of protocols to ensure this work is carried out sensitively."

Iwi and hapu representatives will be on site to provide cultural monitoring of the excavations.

The restaurant was closed in May 2013 after 12 years for refurbishment.

Mr Vujcich said the council was still keen to establish a restaurant as it would add to the experience for the park's million visitors a year.

It could also be hired for small functions and weddings.