THE sons of Maori chiefs believed to be buried in a Parramatta park will be formally recognised by the council but plans to redevelop an adjacent site will still go ahead.
Parramatta Council commissioned heritage consultants Godden Mackay Logan last year to investigate links between Rangihou Reserve and the first Maori people to be given land in Australia.
Parramatta lord mayor John Chedid would not go into detail about the heritage report but said the council would celebrate the connection Maori people have with the land.
"We will work with key stakeholders to prepare an interpretation strategy that will assist in commemorating the significance of the site for . . . Maori people," he said.
Councillor Chedid said the reserve would be kept as open space but gave no details as to what form the "interpretation" would take.
The council plans to sell its works depot on a site at the end of Rangihou Crescent, which runs into the Maori site.
Jennifer Holt Alexander, a Maori woman who has campaigned to have the reserve recognised as a sacred burial site, said the land should have a marae built on it.
"We are going to have a cultural centre — a marae — built," she said.
"For our people, it's a symbol of unity."
The council would not release the contents of the heritage report because it had not yet been adopted by councillors.