Fallen statue of John Robert Godley

Read more: Irishman feared trapped under building following New Zealand earthquake

The devastating earthquake that struck New Zealand has led to an unexpected discovery. Two secret time capsules fell out of a 19 century statue that toppled in the quake.

A handwritten parchment in a bottle and a sealed copper cylinder containing historic documents were discovered inside the toppled statue of one of the city's founders, Irishman John Robert Godley, the New Zealand press reported.

The statue, which had stood in the city's main square, toppled during the earthquake on February 22 that killed at least 155 people.

Museum experts were examining the items it contained, which included a message from the city's founders expressing their vision for it.

Parker told the press: "It seems almost providential that they have come to light now to provide the inspiration we need in this most difficult time."

Read more: Irishman feared trapped under building following New Zealand earthquake