Central Otago Heritage Sites Review

The OGHT has been requested by the Central Lakes Trust and Heritage New Zealand to manage a ‘Heritage Sites Review’ for Central Otago and the Southern Lakes areas.

The review will update current site information as well as adding new sites and buildings to New Zealand Archaeological Association’s ArchSite and where appropriate, to Heritage New Zealand, Queenstown Lakes District Council and Central Otago District Council databases. Area Site Review has been done all around Central Otago with specific emphisis around Ophir, Northburn Station, St Bathans, Matakanui and Clyde.

A comprehensive Heritage Sites Review will be beneficial to the wider community in various ways:

  • Private land owners will have the opportunity to have a basic heritage assessment done for free.
  • Councils will have a greater understanding of their heritage resources and potential implications.
  • Funding bodies will have current, useful data to assess suitability of funding applications.
  • Community groups can be actively involved in researching and collecting data about their local sites.
  • Priorities for restoration projects will be able to be assessed against other potential projects.
  • New historic sites may be identified and become available for education and appreciation.
  • New business and tourism opportunities may also develop.

Groups or individuals who have an interest in heritage preservation, cataloging or restoration are welcome to get in touch to see how they can become involved.

Email terry@cavalcade.co.nz , or phone the OGHT office 03 4450111.


The Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust (OGHT) has been asked by Heritage New Zealand and the Central Lakes Trust (CLT) to manage a comprehensive review of heritage sites within Central Otago. 


The CLT deals with many applications to provide funding for a variety of heritage projects each year. Currently they are unable to prioritise the worthiness of one heritage project compared to another. This review will fill that knowledge gap.

Central Otago is the only region in NZ that has not done a Heritage Sites Review in recent times and is therefore this work is long overdue. The review will also provide valuable information at this time of rapid change within our physical, cultural and heritage landscape.

An increase in interest around heritage and a recognition of the importance of heritage to our tourism industry and daily lives all combined with the factors mentioned above drives the Central Otago Heritage Site Review (COHSR) project.


Archaeological assessment teams will take site photos, record GPS coordinates and note relevant heritage information. There will be no digging or disturbance of any sites.

Key Points:

  • With landowner permission, an archaeological team will visit each heritage site.
  • The team will be covered by a Health and Safety plan with public liability insurance. 
  • The team will comply with any health and safety requirements landowners may have.
  • Where sites are already known the team will update existing records.
  • New site records will be added as appropriate.
  • If a site is deemed to be of special significance we will discuss with landowners how public the information should be and any appropriate protection measures needed.
  • The site review incurs no financial cost to land owners.
  • Our basic site assessment and report will be made available to landowners at no cost. 
  • This report may add to landowners current historical knowledge and support any future property development initiatives.