Heritage protection authorities

A heritage protection authority is a 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. This page lists heritage protection authorities and those entities that can apply to be one. It also explains the approval process. 

This page has not yet been updated to reflect changes as a result of the Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017.


Who can be a heritage protection authority?

All Ministers of the Crown, local authorities, and Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga (Heritage New Zealand) are automatically heritage protection authorities under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). This status is also reinforced for Heritage New Zealand by section 5 of the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014. A body corporate having an interest in protecting a place may apply to the Minister for the Environment to become a heritage protection authority.

A body corporate includes:

  • a company
  • a corporation sole
  • an incorporated society
  • a state owned enterprise
  • organisations set up under the Friendly Societies Act 1909 or the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1908 or the Charitable Trusts Act 1957
  • incorporations and trusts set up under sections 215, 216, 217 and 247 of Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993
  • Maori Trust Boards set up under the Maori Trust Board legislation.

Approved heritage protection authorities

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)
Orchid Council of New Zealand Incorporated 2008 Gazette 08/2477

How heritage protection authorities are approved

Applications for heritage protection authority status must be made in the prescribed form [Form 25] 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.

Form 25: Application to become a heritage protection authority [RTF, 70 KB]

Before approving a body corporate as a heritage protection authority, the Minister must be satisfied that:

  1. the approval of the applicant as a heritage protection authority is appropriate for protecting the place that is subject to the application; and
  2. the applicant is likely to satisfactorily carry out all the responsibilities (including financial responsibilities) of a heritage protection authority under the RMA.

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).

Useful resources