So you’ve been told you need an archaeologist! The next question is usually, Why? The reason is most likely because you own or wish to develop a property that has a historic building on it, because the property is in an area of historic importance, or because it is likely to have had human occupation prior to the year 1900.
Why is the year 1900 so important? It is important because this is the legally defined date prior to which, sites and buildings are protected under the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act (2014). Further legal protection is provided under the conditions of the Resource Management Act (1991) which considers historic heritage to be a matter of national importance under Section 6.
This legal protection means that there is a process to go through in order to both, comply with these laws, and to proceed with development works. This process involves an application to Heritage New Zealand to modify or destroy an archaeological site. The issued permit is called an Archaeological Authority.
Do you need us?
Before any building or land developments take place in a historic area (sites with pre-1900 human activity), an archaeological authority is required by law from Heritage New Zealand (formerly New Zealand Historic Places Trust). To gain this authority you will need the services of an archaeologist.
Gaining authority is a simple process, but it can take several months from start to finish, we recommend you contact us during the early stages of your project to ensure developments are not held up. We at New Zealand Heritage Properties can provide you with assistance to make the process as simple as possible for you to understand and complete.
Archaeological Authority Process
As archaeologists, we conduct an archaeological assessment on your site to see whether there are any historic portions present and where they are likely located. This assessment provides a thorough investigation into the site allowing us to determine the level of recording and excavation that may be required going forward, while also discovering more about New Zealand's fascinating history.
We submit the assessment to Heritage New Zealand who issue an Archaeological Authority. Depending on the significance of the site, we will conduct an archaeological excavation and/or building recording. Once archaeological monitoring and excavation is complete, an interim report is submitted to the Heritage New Zealand and archaeological consent can be granted.
Our New Zealand Heritage Properties team are highly experienced and have worked on numerous notable sites including the Glendermid Tannery, Saint Patrick's Basilica, Flanagan's House and Stavely’s Bond building on Bond Street.