An ancient waka has been discovered by civil works contractors.

Ironically, the waka was discovered on the site designated to be a major highway north of Auckland, near the town of Pūhoi, and this week also happens to be archaeology week.

According to archaeologist Sarah Phear, the exposure of the waka was due to construction.

“You don’t often get to excavate in these sorts of environments and it’s only been exposed because of the road construction. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have known it was here.”

Phear says they are yet to know the exact age of the waka but it seems the waka wasn't completed.

“We are still at an early stage of what we have here, we know it’s not finished, we know what it looks like and we've still got to work out how to remove it.”

For now, the waka will remain where it is.

Archaeologists will examine it with local iwi and hapū to determine its future.