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Rarangi Taonga: the Register of Historic Places, Historic Areas, Wahi Tapu and Wahi Tapu Areas is the national schedule of New Zealand's treasured heritage places. It is established under the Historic Places Act 1993, and compiled by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust Pouhere Taonga. Registration means that a place or area is included on the Register.
Why is the Register important?
- Identifies and informs owners, the public, community
organisations, government agencies and local authorities
about significant heritage; and
- Assists heritage to be protected and conserved.
What does registration mean?
- is an information and advocacy tool – it is the established national means of identifying important heritage in a locality;
- does not equal automatic protection;
- does not directly create regulatory consequences or legal obligations on property owners;
- can provide heritage funding opportunities
- does not directly create specific rights or control over property and
- can lead to heritage properties being considered for inclusion in district plan heritage schedules.
How does registration link with district plans?
District plans are administered by local authorities and set out the changes that can be made to a property. Most district plans control proposed changes to heritage places and sites listed in the plans. The NZHPT can get involved in this process and advocate for the retention of heritage values.
Local authorities are required to notify the NZHPT if a project information memorandum (PIM) or building consent application is received regarding a registered property. This allows the NZHPT to offer conservation advice to property owners. The fact that a property is included in the Register should be noted on any relevant land information memorandum (LIM) supplied by a local authority.
The Four Parts of the Register
The Register is divided into four parts:
- Historic Places include bridges, memorials, pa, archaeological sites, buildings, mining sites, cemeteries, gardens, shipwrecks, and many other types of places.
- Historic Areas are groups of related historic places such as a geographical area with a number of properties or sites, or a cultural landscape. Emphasis is on the significance of the group.
- Wahi Tapu are places sacred to Maori in the traditional, spiritual, religious, ritual or mythological sense.
- Wahi Tapu Areas are groups of wahi tapu.
Category 1 versus Category 2:
Historic Places are further divided into two categories: Category I status is given to places of 'special or outstanding historical or cultural heritage significance or value'; Category II status to places of 'historical or cultural heritage significance or value'.
Places may be significant because they possess aesthetic, archaeological, architectural, cultural, historical, scientific, social, spiritual, technological or traditional significance or value.
For information about the legal requirements and nature of the Register see the Historic Places Act 1993.
What can I see on this site?
The Register currently contains over 5600 entries. You can search the Register Online to find out about registered historic places, historic areas, wahi tapu and wahi tapu areas. Historic places and historic area entries include general identification and registration information. Many of the entries also include images and text about the place or area - in some instances there are very detailed reports. Images and information on current entries are added regularly.
The entries for wahi tapu and wahi tapu areas provide basic information only. At the current time, no images of these sites are provided.
New entries are added after each meeting of the NZHPT Board. You can find out what has been registered in the last few months and read the original registration reports at New on the Register (recent registrations). You can also find out about some places and areas that are currently proposed for registration. If the place or area you are looking for is not currently registered, you can find out how to nominate a place or area.
For a full list of proposals or information on registrations under investigation, interim registrations, heritage covenants and heritage orders, contact the Registrar.
How can I find a full list of everything on the Register?
For the full Register, as well as information on current proposals, registrations under investigation, interim registrations, heritage covenants and heritage orders you can view hard copies of the Register at your local office of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust or your local city or district council office.
If this is inconvenient, or if you review the Register regularly, you may wish to purchase a copy of the Register. A full copy of the Register is available at a cost of $300 + GST per year and it is provided in electronic and hard copy form. The price includes four updates for the year, which are issued after each major registration meeting of the NZHPT Board and Maori Heritage Council.
If you have any queries or wish to purchase a copy of the Register, please contact the Registrar.
Can I visit registered places?
There are many heritage places you can visit owned by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and other public organisations. You can find out more about these places here.
However, most registered places are privately owned. Registration of a place and inclusion of information about these places on this site does not convey permission to enter. Please do not enter people's property without permission; respect their privacy.
Why register places?
The NZHPT's Register is designed to inform property owners and the public about New Zealand's heritage places and to assist protection of these places under the Resource Management Act 1991. Registration is an identification and recognition tool and does not in itself prevent places being altered or sold.
However, Councils are required to have regard to the Register when developing Regional and District Plans, and Councils are required to notify the NZHPT as an affected party to resource consent applications that affect registered places. Councils are required to notify the NZHPT as an affected party to resource consent applications that affect registered places. Councils must also notify the NZHPT when issuing project information memoranda (PIMS) or building consents where no PIM has been sought.
This means that the NZHPT is involved in the decision-making process when developments affecting heritage sites are being considered.
Councils must also notify an applicant of the presence of a registered place when issuing a Project Information Memorandum (PIM) or a Land Information Memoranda (LIM). A LIM is often sought by potential purchasers of a property. The LIM should show if a property is registered by the NZHPT. This means that the applicant will know whether or not a registered site is present before beginning development work.
How do I get places, areas and wahi tapu registered?
Anyone can apply to have a place or area considered for registration. You do not have to own the property, or have any other formal relationship with it.
You will, however, need to complete a nomination form, available online (for historic places or areas) or upon request from the Registrar (for wahi tapu or wahi tapu areas). Nomination forms are also available from your nearest NZHPT Office and NZHPT staff will be pleased to advise on the process of registration.
What do I do if I want to modify a registered place?
Contact the NZHPT to discuss any work you are planning to a registered place. The NZHPT permits change to the use and function of places, and will help you look at ways this can be achieved with the minimum impact, while avoiding costly mistakes!
It is especially important to contact the NZHPT if you are planning work that has the potential to affect an archaeological site. Archaeological sites are places associated with human activity that occurred before 1900. All archaeological sites, whether registered or not, are protected under the Historic Places Act 1993. It is an offence under the Act to damage, modify or destroy a site without an Authority from the NZHPT.
Commitment to Accuracy
The NZHPT is committed to ensuring the accuracy of the Register and associated reports; information on this site is correct to the best of the NZHPT's knowledge. However, if you find information you believe may not be correct, or there is additional information you wish to share with the NZHPT, please let us know.
Unless otherwise stated, all text and images are copyright to the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and can not be reproduced without the NZHPT's permission. Images belonging to other institutions and individuals are displayed with their permission. Please contact them directly if you wish to use their images.
An exciting pilot project has been completed in the Gisborne district. The Gisborne Pilot Project involved reviewing a sample of archaeological sites in the vicinity of Tolaga Bay, north of Gisborne which have been included on the NZHPT's Register of historic places, historic areas, wahi tapu and wahi tapu areas.
The Rangitikei-Ruapehu Pilot Project was a resounding success for the NZHPT. Overseen by the Central Region team, the project improved the quality of NZHPT’s national Register. The two-year project has since influenced NZHPT initiatives and follow-on projects, and helped establish strong relationships with the Rangitikei and Ruapehu communities.
Local concern for the future of the unique collection of buildings in Hastings’ CBD encouraged the NZHPT to undertake a heritage inventory project. While some identification and protection mechanisms did exist, important buildings in Hastings were at risk from demolition and development. This project set out to find the individual gems and remarkable collections of inner city heritage so that their survival could be better secured.
Lyttelton is already regarded as one of New Zealand's heritage-rich areas, and its community had the opportunity to back that with official recognition by the NZHPT. In August 2009, the NZHPT registered the Lyttelton Township Historic Area in Canterbury on its national Register of historic places.