A heritage protection authority is the body that can give notice to a local council of a requirement for a heritage order to protect the special heritage qualities of a place or structure.
All Ministers of the Crown, local authorities, and the Historic Places Trust are automatically heritage protection authorities under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). This status is also reinforced for the Historic Places Trust by section 5 of the Historic Places Act 1993 (HPA). A body corporate having an interest in protecting a place may apply to the Minister for the Environment to become a heritage protection authority.
These are the entities that have been approved as heritage protection authorities:
|Name of heritage protection authority||Year of approval||Notice|
|The Save Erskine College Trust||1992||Order 1992/352 (available on the NZ Legislation website, in the Regulations database)|
|Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society||1993||Order 1993/166 (available on the NZ Legislation website, in the Regulations database)|
|Taupo Orchid Society Inc||1993 (revoked 2009)||Gazette 146/4005 (Revoked 188/ 4508)|
|Friends of Mount Street Cemetery Inc||1994||Gazette 98/2976|
|Orchid Council of New Zealand Incorporated||2008||Gazette 08/2477|
A heritage order is a provision in a district plan to protect the heritage qualities of a particular place or structure.
A place is defined in the RMA as including any feature or area, and the whole or part of any structure (s188(2)).
Any place of special interest, character, intrinsic or amenity value or visual appeal may qualify. This may be of special cultural, architectural, historical, scientific, ecological, or other interest. It includes places of special significance to the tangata whenua for spiritual, cultural or historical reasons.
A heritage order may also include part of the land surrounding a proposed protected place where it is necessary to ensure the protection or enjoyment of the values being protected.
A heritage order is similar in effect and has a similar process to a designation because it is a provision in a district plan that affects how a place can be used. Where a heritage order is included in a district plan, no one, without the prior consent of the heritage protection authority, can do anything that would compromise the effect of the heritage order (s193).
The definition of historic heritage and its elevation to being a matter of national importance was introduced through the Resource Management Amendment Act 2003.
Ministers of the Crown, local authorities, and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust are automatically heritage protection authorities. The only body that can apply to be a heritage protection authority is a body corporate. A body corporate includes:
Applications for heritage protection authority status must be made in the prescribed form [Form 25 (RTF document 37KB)] of the Resource Management (Forms, Fees and Procedure) Regulations 2003 (SR 2003/153). A fee of $255.50 must accompany all applications. The Ministry for the Environment processes all applications and makes recommendations to the Minister.
Before approving a body corporate as a heritage protection authority, the Minister must be satisfied that:
Any body corporate seeking status as a heritage protection authority must demonstrate that it is fully aware of the responsibilities and potential costs involved including on-going maintenance costs and the possibility of defending appeals.
The Minister also has the ability to revoke an organisation’s heritage protection authority status under section 188(6).
A heritage order can be included in a district plan in two ways – either as a new designation, or as a designation that is continued or 'rolled over' from a previous district plan.
RMAA 2009 increased new options for the processing of notices of requirement for heritage orders. Notice of requirements for heritage orders can now be directly referred to the Environment Court provided that the council agrees. RMAA 2009 also clarified that a notice of requirement for a new heritage order or to alter an existing heritage order can be called in as a matter of national significance by the Minister for the Environment.
For more information on the processing of heritage orders that are directly referred to the Environment Court or called-in by the Minister for the Environment refer to:
For more particular advice on how to include a heritage order in the district plan, contact your district council or refer to the provisions in the RMA (sections 187-198) (available on the NZ Legislation website, in the Statutes database).
If you would like further information on how to apply to become a heritage protection authority please email email@example.com.
Last updated: 15 April 2010