Check for archaeological sites
It is important that you check if there are any archaeological sites that may be affected by your proposal – building, subdivision, and any other activity that will disturb the land.
The Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2104 provides automatic protection to all pre 1900 archaeological sites.
Definition of an archaeological site
Archaeological Site = Any place in New Zealand, including any building or structure (or part of a building or structure), that
(i) Was associated with human activity that occurred before 1900 …. and
(ii) Provides or may provide, through investigation by archaeological methods, evidence relating to the history of New Zealand.
Unless you have obtained an authority from Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga you cannot modify or destroy, or cause someone else (eg Builder, earthworks contractor) to modify or destroy, the whole or any part of an archaeological site.
This applies whether or not the archaeological site is an already known one, or not.
How can I find out?
Note that sites may not be accurately located on the map, and those shown on neighbouring properties may actually be on your property. If you see a site on, or within 200 metres of your site, you need to find out more about it. You can ask Council for further information (The Duty Planner).
If there are no recorded archaeological sites shown you need to assess the likelihood of there being an unrecorded site(s). Are there lots of recorded sites in the general area, is your site a prominent headland or hill top, is it along a significant river or stream, or other place likely to have been lived on/used pre 1900 (including for gold mining related activities)?
Contact Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga for advice. We come under the Northern Regional office. firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the Heritage New Zealand website for information on the process for applying for archaeological authorities.