Contractors in a rural location in South Canterbury have found dozen of moa bones.
The bones that were found are of a female South Island giant moa, as well as at least one bone from a much smaller male.
They were found in soil removed from a small, deep trench dug in what was once an ancient swamp.
A mix of 40 bones and bone fragments were found. These included leg bones, vertebrae, a pelvis and ribs.
After the bones were found the South Canterbury Museum was contacted to identify them.
Female South Island giant moa stood about 2m high at their back and could reach foliage more than 3.5m off the ground. They were the taller of what was the tallest known bird species.