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The Historic Places Act 1993 provides protection for all archaeological sites that pre-date 1900. Under the Historic Places Act, an archaeological site is defined as:

“…any place in New Zealand that –

(a) Either –
(i) Was associated with human activity that occurred before 1900; or
(ii) Is the site of the wreck of any vessel where that wreck occurred before 1900; and
(b) Is or may be able through investigation by archaeological methods to provide evidence relating to the history of New Zealand”
(Historic Places Act 1993, section 2)

Under the Historic Places Act, anyone who wishes to destroy, damage or modify an archaeological site requires an authority under section 11 or 12 of the Act. Applications for authorities are made to the Wellington office of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. The Act allows for up to 3 months to make a decision on the authority, after the authority application has been accepted. If granted, an authority has a life of two years. An authority may be granted with conditions. Any archaeologist carrying out work as a condition of the authority must be approved by the Trust under section 17 of the Historic Places Act.

Katharine Watson Archaeology July 2003     Page 14

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