Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, (previously until 2014 named the New Zealand Historic Places Trust) (Māori: Pouhere Taonga), is a Crown entity with a membership of around 20,000 people that advocates for the protection of ancestral sites and heritage buildings in New Zealand. It was set up through the Historic Places Act 1954 with a mission to "...promote the identification, protection, preservation and conservation of the historical and cultural heritage of New Zealand" and is an autonomous Crown entity. Its current enabling legislation is the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014.


It is governed by a Board of Trustees, currently chaired by Shonagh Kenderdine, and a Māori Heritage Council, currently chaired by Sir Tumu Te Heuheu. Past chairs include Dame Anne Salmond. The head office is in Antrim House, Wellington, while regional and area offices are in Kerikeri, Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.


It publishes the quarterly magazine New Zealand Heritage.


Buildings owned by Heritage New Zealand include the Mission House, the Stone Store, and the Te Waimate mission house.

The Register

The register of historic places is divided into four main areas:

  • Historic Places
  • Historic Areas
  • Wahi Tapu (Māori sacred sites)
  • Wahi Tapu Areas

The historic places are organised in two categories:

  • Category I - "...places of 'special or outstanding historical or cultural heritage significance or value'"
  • Category II - "...places of 'historical or cultural heritage significance or value'"

As of 2013, the register contains over 5,600 entries.[2] The Canterbury earthquakes of September 2010 and February 2011 resulted in damage to a number of historic buildings in Christchurch. Post-earthquake redevelopment has caused a significant loss of heritage buildings in Christchurch.[3]

Māori Heritage Council

The Māori Heritage Council sits within the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and was established by the Historic Places Act 1993. The functions of the Council[4] include:

  • the protection and registration of wahi tapu and wahi tapu areas
  • assisting the Trust to develop and reflect a bicultural view in the exercise of its powers and functions
  • providing assistance to whanau, hapu and iwi in the preservation and management of their heritage resources
  • consideration of recommendations in relation to archaeological sites
  • advocacy of the interests of the Trust and Council so far as they relate to Māori heritage at any public or Māori forum.

As of 2013 Sir Tumu Te Heuheu is the Chair of the MHC.


Equivalent function outside New Zealand

See also


  1. ^ Annual Report 2007-8
  2. ^ "About the Register". New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "Heritage Lost Canterbury Earthquakes". New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Māori Heritage Council on the Historic Places Trust website". Retrieved 2009-04-26. 

External links