'Treasure trove' of colonial history unearthed by Wellington road works

Road works in central Wellington have uncovered what has been described as a "treasure trove" of colonial history.

Lombard Lane sits between high rise hotels, apartments and car parking buildings in a trendy shopping and cafe area of the capital's CBD. 

Road workers redeveloping the road have come across the remains of a fort, which protected early port buildings and date back to the 1840s. 

They have also discovered the foundations of those buildings. 

"This tells us a lot about the first buildings that were established on the beach when the first settlers arrived," said archaeologist Andy Dodd. 

The site, just off Cuba Street, was once the waterfront. As well as early buildings and a fort, shells have been discovered at the site. 

While the site tells us about New Zealand's early settler history, the site is also important to local iwi. 

"I think the colonial history and the Maori history are so intertwined that this is a reminder of the history at its very early stages," said Mark Te One of Te Ati Awa Taranaki iwi. 

He said the discovery has been made in the junction between a lot of former pa sites, in particular Te Aro Pa, Kumutoto Pa and Pipitea Pa, which in most cases have disappeared. 

"So any reminder to them is very important."

The site was blessed on Monday by those whose ancestors lived at one of those many pa. 

The Wellington City Council is working with local iwi to decide how to best inform visitors and locals about the significance of the area.

The archaeological find includes part of a wall dating back to the New Zealand Land Wars. Source: 1 NEWS



Person found dead at central Auckland beach

A person has been found dead at Judges Bay near central Auckland.

Police have described the fatality as a "sudden death".

Video shot by 1 NEWS shows police and an ambulance at the scene on the waterfront this evening.

A person's body can be seen lying under a tree as police examine the scene. 

Police have told 1 NEWS the death is not believed to be suspicious and will be referred to the Coroner.

A body found at Judges Bay is not being treated as suspicious by police. Source: 1 NEWS

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Could Ikea be coming to a New Zealand site near you?

Swedish-founded furniture company Ikea may have New Zealand on its radar as a prospect for a store, though the outlet is so far remaining coy on the idea publicly.

Ikea has conducted research into the New Zealand market, Fairfax reports.

It reported property consulting firm RCG has been working with Ikea on market research in this country, though managing director John Long said he could not say what Ikea's plans were.

A spokesperson for the chain was quoted as saying Ikea is always exploring opportunities to expand and be more accessible to more people.

"However we do not currently have confirmed plans to open a store or sell online in New Zealand."

The report recapped past prospects for Ikea to open in New Zealand, including a 2008 Environment Court ruling that the company could not be a tenant in retail development in Auckland's Mt Wellington because of concerns its popularity would cause traffic chaos.

A Facebook page, "Bring Ikea to NZ" has 18,863 likes.

Retail consultant Chris Wilkinson, of First Retail Group, told Fairfax recent news that Ikea was considering a shift to smaller stores could be good news for New Zealand.

He said with the retail market changing rapidly, Ikea could establish smaller stores and have the product shipped from Australia or Singapore daily. 

The Swedish-founded multinational group, headquartered in the Netherlands, designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories, and has been the world's largest furniture retailer since at least 2008.

The company is known for its modernist designs for various types of appliances and furniture, and its interior design work is often associated with an eco-friendly simplicity.

As of November 2017, Ikea owns and operates 411 stores in 49 countries, and the question now is could New Zealand be the next?

A living room furnished with Ikea. Source: istock.com