What is Historic Heritage?

Historic heritage is those natural and physical resources that contribute to an understanding and appreciation of New Zealand’s history and cultures. It includes historic sites, structures, places and areas, archaeological sites, site of significance to Māori, including wāhi tapu, and surroundings associated with the natural and physical resources. 3970

Historic heritage has three key elements: a geographical place (e.g. a structure, house, site or area), associated heritage values and heritage significance, and associated connections with a person, group or community. 3971  It includes Māori and European historic heritage.

The Environment Court has considered the definition of historic heritage a number of times. It has found that it may include the land on which a heritage building is sited or a precinct which includes buildings, relics, trees, places and their setting. 3972  This helps to overcome the problem of development adjacent to a protected structure cancelling out or detracting from the protection objective.

Archaeological sites form an important subset of the wider category of heritage sites and are defined in the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 (HNZPT) as any place in New Zealand, including any building or structure, associated with pre-1900 human activity, including ship wreck which, through investigation by archaeological methods, may provide evidence relating to the history of New Zealand. 3973 Sites of 1900 and later may also be covered by formal inclusion by HNZPT. Plans under the RMA may on occasion use a different definition and not use the pre-1900 constraint.

  1. Section 2 Resource Management Act 1991

  2. Oriental Parade (Clyde Quay) Planning Society v Wellington City Council (NZEnvCW063/05 2 August 2005)

  3. Section 6 Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014

Last updated at 11:50AM on November 23, 2017