By Te Karere

Te Ātiawa in Wellington is calling on the City Council to recognise a historical site that was once a European fortification.

During recent earthworks at the harbour end of Cuba Street, a remnant of a fort was found that once protected early settlers from local iwi.

According to this Māori cultural advisor, Mark Te One from Te Ātiawa says it’s a significant site for both Māori and Pākehā.

“The colonial history and the Māori history are intertwined and what we've found is a visual reminder of that relationship in its very early stages.”

Nearly 170 years ago, a European redoubt once stood here, but before the arrival of foreigners, Te One also says there were many Māori homes that stood here.

“What we have here is the junction between lots of former pā sites, in particular, Te Aro Pā, and Kumutoto Pā and Pipitea Pā which in most cases have disappeared, so a reminder that is attached to them is very important.”

Project Archaeologist, Andy Dodd adds it’s important for our history.

“It's an important element understanding past events that include written history, physical evidence and whakapapa.

Te one says this is a big project for Taranaki Whānui and the council to ensure that the history of this site won't be lost.

“We as iwi here are going to work with the council and hopefully create an area where we can recognise what was here in relation to today's environment.”

There's a lot of work ahead to preserve Wellington's history.