COVID19 response

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga has made health and safety adjustments at our offices and properties to minimise the risk of infection to our visitors, members and staff.  Check in here to find out more about how different parts of our business are responding to the situation.

23 March 2020

Our properties and offices are now closed to visitors following the announcement on Monday by the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, that the country is now at Alert Level 3, and will soon go to Alert Level 4.  The exception is the postal services at Ophir Post Office in Central Otago.  

The advice provided by the Ministry of Health is the best way for our community to protect ourselves.

For up-to-date information and advice on the pandemic please visit 

Heritage New Zealand office and property closure

All Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga offices are CLOSED to the public effective from Monday 23 March.  

All the properties that Heritage New Zealand cares for are CLOSED to visitors effective from Monday 23 March.  The only exception is postal service at Ophir Post Office.

Looking after our people... and you

Our staff are self-isolating for four weeks.  We are doing what we can to be productive from home and ask you to be patient if some services may not be available as promptly as usual.  We appreciate your understanding - the health of all of us is the most important thing right now. 

National State of Emergency and Archaeological Authorities

The Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 makes it unlawful for any person to modify or destroy, or cause to be modified or destroyed, the whole or any part of an archaeological site without the prior authority of Heritage New Zealand.  

Our archaeologists and pouarahi are working remotely and the authority process is running as normal at present. Currently we are in 'working days' as defined by the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014.  Read more about how the normal authority process is working under lockdown.

When a civil defence, local or national state of emergency is notified such as has occurred with the national COVID-19 response, a simplified and streamlined process - the Emergency Archaeological Authority process - may apply to quickly consider work that affects archaeological sites under Subpart 3 Emergency Authorities, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014. 

COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020

If you believe that an emergency archaeological authority is needed, please first discuss the circumstances for which the emergency authority is needed with either:

  • Vanessa Tanner, Manager Archaeology  phone 027 6089537, or
  • Frank van der Heijden, Senior Archaeologist  027 6889741.

Please note the emergency process will be available ONLY for work needed on archaeological sites to enable essential businesses to continue to be provided or maintained.   Please see

Find out more about the emergency archaeological authority process during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Membership administration closed

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga members are our financial and moral lifeblood and your support of our work through membership and donations is crucial.  Now, more than ever, we need your support and understanding.

We are no longer processing membership applications and renewals, donations or magazine subscriptions while the country is in lockdown.  When our ability to resume membership administration is restored, we’ll advise through our electronic mail channels and website. If you have not provided us with your email address or signed up to our monthly newsletter Heritage this Month, please just follow this link to securely provide your name and email address.  Read our Privacy Policy.

Event cancellations

The following events that Heritage New Zealand was associated with, hosting or managing have been cancelled

  • Alberton, Auckland: Market Day on 12 April
  • Alberton Auckland: Summer High Teas 27-29 March
  • Highwic, Auckland: Easter Cup Cake baking on 15 April
  • Lower Northern Office, Tauranga: The Treaty and Tauranga - then and now on 25 March
  • Lower Northern Office, Tauranga: Waikato Archaeology public lecture on 30 April
  • Central Regional Office, Wellington: Putiki Church celebration of heritage listing and conservation work - POSTPONED from 20 March
  • Southern Regional Office, Christchurch: Archaeologist for a Day

ALL further events listed on our Events page are cancelled.