Protection and management of archaeological sites

The best way of caring for an archaeological site on a property depends on the type of site, local environment conditions and land use. If an area of land being developed is known to contain archaeological sites then they should not be disturbed if at all possible.

Otatara Pa, Napier
Otatara Pa, Napier. Image: Pat Sheridan, Department of Conservationexpand/collapse

If the archaeological site is in a rural setting one, grazing by sheep offers the best management option.  Regular trampling by heavier animals such as horses and cattle can erode the site.  Large plants, vines and trees cause damage when their roots grow through the site, and further damage can occur when they are removed or blow over.

In order to protect an archaeological site as much as possible the site owner can place a covenant on the site, nominate it for entry on the New Zealand Heritage List / Rārangi Kōrero with Heritage New Zealand, and/or create a reserve to ensure its future protection.

Further advice on how to best manage and protect a particular site can be obtained by contacting your nearest Heritage New Zealand office.

A national database of recorded archaeological sites is held by the New Zealand Archaeological Association.
Ruapekapeka Pa Historic Reserve
Ruapekapeka Pa Historic Reserve, Northland.  Image: Kevin Jones, Department of Conservation expand/collapse
A national database of recorded archaeological sites is held by the NZ Archaeological Association.