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SPAR researchers work with communities in New Zealand and across the Pacific to investigate, report and provide training support for on-going research. These projects involve partnerships with external agencies and community groups, which address issues of immediate concern to those groups. Through these collaborations our partners are able to achieve outcomes that would not otherwise be possible. Current partners include Māori iwi organisations, the Department of Conservation (DoC), local governments and community trusts.

Community projects

Richard Walter thumbUniversity and Hawke's Bay iwi partner up (Hawke's Bay Today website)

Omaio ki Tua is a project in partnership with Pukehou Marae, Kahuranaki Marae and the Kairakau Land Trust. It aims to protect and conserve Maori heritage coastal areas of the Ngati Kahungunu rohe. It has been funded by the Department of Conservation through its Community Conservation Partnerships programme.

Coastal village in the Solomon Islands thumbCommunity-based cultural heritage conservation in Melanesia

The project is focusing on heritage conservation in Arnavon Islands (Solomon Islands) – a conservation region that includes a major turtle hatchery and a rich and vulnerable archaeological record.

SPAR  banner thumbUnearthing early New Zealand (radio NZ website)

In the 1950's the Willets family gathered almost 10,000 artefacts from their farm. The find relates to a large moa hunting settlement. North Otago Museum is working with the Willetts family, Te Rūnanga o Moeraki and Waitaha Taiwhenua o Waitaki Trust Board on the project.

Lawrence Chinese camp

Lawrence Chinese camp archaeological dig thumbThe Lawrence Chinese Camp was established during the Otago gold rush of the 1860s and was occupied by a Chinese community servicing the goldfields. By the 1870s the Camp had numerous stores, a hotel, boarding houses, physicians, a butchery, gambling facilities and opium dens.

New Zealand Archaeology Week

The New Zealand Archaeological Association is working to increase public awareness and highlight the importance of protecting our archaeological heritage by promoting the work of New Zealand archaeologists both at home and abroad. New Zealand Archaeology Week happens annually late April–early May.
New Zealand Archaeological Week webpage

As part of New Zealand Archaeology Week 2019, Professor Richard Walter spoke about 'Who does own the past' highlighting four case studies.

Read the full article in The Otago Daily Times:
Handling the past in the present (ODT website)

Research impact

Empowering communities in heritage management

Greig Walter thumbnail
Dr Karen Greig and Professor Richard Walter feature in University of Otago's prestigious research publication He Kitenga.

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