Emergency Archaeological Authority Process

A simplified and streamlined process has been set up to quickly consider work that affects archaeological sites in areas where a civil defence emergency or a local or national transition period has been notified.

Any work related to the emergency that is required "for the purposes of saving or protecting life or preventing serious damage to property or any historic place" (s94 of the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act), can go ahead without the need for an archaeological authority.

An archaeological authority (under Subpart 3 Emergency Authorities, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014) may be required for all other work which will modify or destroy an archaeological site. The application form for an emergency authority can be found here (pdf, 2.1MB).

Heritage New Zealand must process Emergency Authorities within three (3) days after having received an application, or five (5) days where the application relates to a site of interest to Maori. Following the issue of the authority, an appeal period of 14 days applies before the authority may be exercised. 

For help and advice about the emergency archaeological authority process see the contact details included at the back of the application form.

Emergency archaeological authorities issued

Magnitude 7.8 Kaikoura Earthquake, 2016

  • Relates to the districts of Kaikoura District Council, Canterbury, Hurunui District Council, Marlborough District Council and Wellington City Council.

Cyclone Cook, Bay of Plenty, 2017

  • Relates to the districts of Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Rotorua District Council, Kawerau District Council, Whakatane District Council, Opotiki District Council, Taupo District Council.