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SPAR provides a range of specialist archaeological, heritage and laboratory consultancy and analysis services.

Contact details for our specialist advisers

Archaeological consultancy

SPAR field services

Our archaeological consultancy is equipped to undertake all aspects of archaeology and heritage management in New Zealand.

SPAR works throughout the country for clients undertaking residential and commercial developments, and clients in the construction and infrastructure, energy, mining, and forestry industries.

SPAR's archaeological consulting services are detailed below.

Archaeological and heritage advice

Under the HNZPTA it is illegal to destroy or modify an archaeological site without an archaeological authority. SPAR can advise approaches to managing archaeological sites, avoiding or mitigating damage, and can assist with the preparation of Archaeological Authority applications.

SPAR Heritage services

SPAR provides expert advice for the archaeological authority process and the management of archaeological sites.

Our team is experienced in New Zealand heritage legislation (Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 (HNZPTA), Resource Management Act 1991 and Protected Objects Act 1975) and provide fast and accurate advice to clients in all aspects of heritage management planning.

Archaeological assessment

An archaeological assessment is required for most Archaeological Authority applications, including a General Authority to destroy or modify a site. An archaeological assessment usually involves a site inspection to determine if archaeological sites are present, or if there is a strong likelihood for subsurface archaeological evidence to be present. The assessment report will assess archaeological and other values and how these may be impacted by development.

Complying with Section 45 Archaeological Authorities

After an archaeological authority is granted under Section 45 of the HNZPTA, there will be several conditions that will usually incorporate field work to record archaeological evidence. This field work may include:

  • Archaeological monitoring of works, and the investigation and recording of any archaeological material encountered.
  • Archaeological excavation is frequently required where there is strong potential for buried archaeological evidence. It is usually appropriate for archaeologists to minimise disturbance to sites by undertaking an excavation prior to other earthworks. This could take the form of test pits or larger scale areal excavation.

Archaeological evidence encountered during Section 45 authority work must be investigated, recorded and analysed, including in situ site features and artefacts and faunal material recovered during excavation. SPAR is available to undertake all post-excavation laboratory analyses that may be required internally (see Laboratory Services).
After this work is complete, an Interim Report and Final Report are required to be submitted to Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga for the conditions of the Archaeological Authority to be met.

Related SPAR services

Site damage assessments

Site damage assessments are reports undertaken to evaluate the extent of damage that may have occurred to an archaeological site and recommend ways to mitigate damage where possible.

Archaeology and heritage inventories

Archaeology and heritage inventories are produced to provide a client with details of protected sites that are present on their properties. These reports are usually undertaken as a preliminary desktop exercise involving historical research and GIS analysis, followed by a field survey.

A report is provided to describe archaeological sites that are present, record their locations and assess their and conditions. Information recorded during archaeology and heritage inventories can be used to inform Archaeology and heritage management plans.

Archaeology and heritage management plans

Archaeology and heritage management plans are reports commissioned to guide the management of archaeological sites. These reports provide guidelines and strategies for protection of archaeological sites, mitigating threats and planning for works that may affect them.

Laboratory services

SPAR Lab services

SPAR is equipped to undertake all post-excavation analyses in-house at the University's Archaeological Laboratories. Since 2019 we have provided these services for other consultants and researchers, both in Aotearoa and throughout the Pacific. We have expertise in and can provide the following analytical techniques:

  • Archaeozoological analysis
  • Artefact analysis
  • Archaeobotanical analysis (including microparticle and fibre identification)
  • Ancient DNA analysis
  • Geochemical analysis
  • Human osteological analysis
  • Proteomic/ZooMS analysis
  • SEM-EDS analysis
  • Stable Isotope Analysis

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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