We are committed to the protection and conservation of New Zealand’s heritage including minimising the impacts of our transport system activities on heritage places located within or adjacent to our transport network. Our land transport system follows many routes of early trails and roads, so the record of early exploration and settlement is frequently found whenever transport works are carried out.

Heritage includes natural and physical resources that contribute to an understanding and appreciation of New Zealand’s history and cultures, derived from the associated archaeological, architectural, cultural, historic, scientific or technical qualities they possess. Such resources include:

  • historic sites, structures, places and areas
  • archaeological sites
  • sites significant to Māori, including wāhi tapu/wāhi tupuna, and
  • surroundings associated with these resources.

We are bound by legislation, including the Resource Management Act 1991 and Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014, and by agreements we have made with Heritage NZ Pouhere Taonga and through partnerships with iwi. Regional policy statements and local authority district plans require the protection of heritage. Resource consents and archaeological authorities need to be obtained for any works that could have an adverse effect on heritage and archaeological values.

We recognise the connection between heritage and community wellbeing. Heritage places can have spiritual associations and cultural and social value, and can be important for identity, belonging and social interaction. For example, for Māori, heritage is an essential component of the history, traditions, culture and identity of whānau, hapū and iwi. Heritage can make places more liveable, contribute to sense of place and can have economic benefits.

We follow best practice guidance on conserving heritage and have developed our guidelines and tools to assess and manage heritage and archaeology in our land transport activities.

Our policy

Our policy on heritage can be found in:



Resources and tools




Victoria Park Tunnel archaeological excavation

Waterview archaeological excavation

Achieving positive heritage outcomes in Kaikōura

Rangiriri archaeological dig

Onsite with the Peka Peka to Ōtaki archaeology team

Ōtaki Main Road North bridge demolition – June 2019

Mackays to Peka Peka archaeology

Further information

For further information contact