GIRT Scientific Divers

People who want to dive with a purpose and who are passionate about shipwrecks and other underwater cultural heritage may want to register for this GIRT citizen science project in 2023.

Two men in SCUBA equipment chat.
Photo: "Scuba Diving Equipment", CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ

The Gathering Information via Recreational and Technical (GIRT) Scientific Divers project is a no-impact public archaeology program that aims to: enable better understanding of the condition of underwater cultural heritage sites and the factors driving their preservation or deterioration; and encourage interested people to have an active and positive public archaeology role.

GIRT participants ‘adopt’ a wreck they like and agree to monitor the site periodically using the GIRT methodology. GIRT members agree to share their collected data with the public so as to inform everyone about the condition of the site. For more information about GIRT go to or email

This GIRT training will be conducted over two days and people interested in participating will need to get to Whitianga and organise their own accommodation and other requirements. The second day of training will be focussed on diving using the methodology. Diving arrangements will be coordinated by the HMS Buffalo Re-examination Project with equipment support from local Whitianga dive shop Dive Zone, and is supported by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Archaeologist, Dr Kurt Bennett.

When: Saturday 18 – 19 February 2023

Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm, both days

Where: Mercury Bay Museum, Whitianga

Who: Dr Andy Viduka (maritime archaeologist, conservator and founder of GIRT Scientific Divers)

Antony Phillips