What is cultural heritage
How does the ARC protect cultural heritage
What is cultural heritage inventory(CHI)
Archaeological sites
Sources of CHI data
What is Cultural Heritage   Back to top
For the Auckland Council, cultural heritage is the tangible land-based component of our heritage: places that are significant to us because they are associated with our ancestors, cultures, or past. This includes all manifestations of cultural heritage and is a legacy we strive to preserve for future generations.
Download a brochure on What Is Cultural Heritage?
How does the ARC protect cultural heritage? Back to top
Regional, city, and district councils have wide-ranging roles and responsibilities for historic heritage protection and management. Auckland Council conserves the region’s historic heritage by:
  • Caring for historic heritage in Auckland's regional parks
  • Controlling the use, development and protection of historic heritage in the coastal environment, in conjunction with the Department of Conservation
  • Ensuring the sustainable and integrated management of historic heritage throughout the region through statutory mechanisms under the Resource Management Act 2001 and amendments
  • Promoting the preservation and protection of historic heritage by supporting community initiatives
  • Having a Cultural Heritage Team comprising of a small team of specialists covering all types of cultural heritage sites
  • Maintaining a Cultural Heritage Inventory of historic heritage in the region, to assist with the management of our heritage.
What is the Cultural Heritage Inventory (CHI)? Back to top
The CHI is a computer database used to store and retrieve information on cultural heritage sites in the Auckland region (from Wellsford in the North to Pukekohe in the South). The majority of sites in the CHI have also been spatially/geographically mapped in the Auckland Council Viewer (where possible) along with archaeological survey coverage and this forms an important complement to the database.
The database is split into two sections – CHI Places and CHI Bibliography. It includes information on:
  • Archaeological sites recorded under New Zealand Archaeological Site Recording Scheme (e.g. midden, pa)
  • Built heritage sites (e.g. Auckland Town Hall)
  • Maritime sites (e.g. shipwrecks, wharfs, boatsheds)
  • Reported historic sites (e.g. location of a battle/building)
  • Historic botanical sites (e.g. trees on Grey’s Avenue)
  • Places of special significance to Māori, including wāhi tapu, urupā, places of traditional importance
  • Bibliographic references for reports, newspaper articles, books, photos etc. of a cultural heritage nature.
There are more than 16,800 sites of cultural heritage interest in the Auckland Region. This number increases annually and currently includes over 10,600 archaeological sites. New sites and information are constantly being added to the CHI.
Download a brochure on The Cultural Heritage Inventory and find out How to search the CHI.
Archaeological sites Back to top
Please note that all archaeological evidence whether recorded, registered or not is protected by the Historic Places Act 1993. The contents of archaeological sites may also be protected under the Protected Objects Act 1975. Any interference with an archaeological site is an offence punishable by a fine of up to $100,000.
An authority is required from the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) to modify or destroy archaeological sites. It is the responsibility of the holder of any resource consent to develop the property to obtain the necessary Authorities under the Historic Places Act 1993, should these become necessary as a result of any activity associated with the proposed development.
For more information please go to the NZHPT website  and for information on archaeological sites, please go to the NZAA website and the NZAA ArchSite.
For specific information on archaeological sites and how these sites are affected by any form of earthworks activity, download handouts on Midden and Earthworks.
In regards to archaeological assessments, the Auckland Council is no longer able to provide lists of heritage consultants. However, a list of archaeological consultants available to undertake this work can be found on the NZAA website.
Sources of CHI data Back to top
The CHI is a melting pot of information from diverse sources. It has been developed and maintained by Auckland Council with regular updates from:
  • Departments from within the Auckland Council
  • New Zealand Archaeological Association (NZAA)
  • New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT)
  • Department of Conservation (DOC)
  • Heritage Consultants
  • Ministry for the Environment (MfE)
  • Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland
  • Historical societies
  • Iwi authorities
  • Other resources including books, journals etc.
Development Back to top
The CHI has grown much since its original conception and development in the early 1990s. It has proved to be a powerful tool for education and advocacy and is unique as a single source of information about all forms of cultural heritage in the Auckland Region.
Progress in the last couple of years has focused on developing the CHI into the online web resource that it is today, with a ‘live linkage’ between the database and geospatial data.