Clough & Associates Ltd: Archaeologists and Heritage Consultants

By: Clough & Associates  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Archaeology, Site Investigation


The company provides advice at all stages of the process/project, identifying statutory requirements and determining the best approach to a particular project taking both heritage value and the client’s requirements into account.


An appraisal is a preliminary step in some projects. It may involve a site visit but will not usually involve detailed research.

The outcome is a brief report or letter outlining the potential heritage constraints of a particular project. If there are no obvious constraints then this may be the final stage of analysis.

This stage also includes desktop studies, which are frequently employed when a number of options are being considered. Examples include road, rail and utility (water pipelines, telecommunications, etc) routes.


This involves more detailed on site and archival (historical) investigation.

Background research will precede visual inspection of the site, which will normally involve some subsurface testing with probe, spade or auger to identify the nature and extent of heritage remains.

Occasionally, remote sensing techniques will be employed. Aerial photographs, GPS and GIS are usually employed in the analysis and recording of the heritage sites.

A report is prepared to meet the statutory requirements of the RMA and HPA. Reports include an AEE statement, precise location and evaluation of the heritage remains in the project area and a series of general and site specific recommendations guiding the client through the statutory processes.


Assessment of the value placed by Maori on their cultural heritage sites and the impacts of development proposals on those values is an essential part of the process, but can only be undertaken by the tangata whenua.

Clough & Associates has undertaken or been involved in the iwi consultation process when requested by the client, but generally iwi prefer to consult directly with the client. Archaeological assessments should be provided to the tangata whenua and are often of assistance to them in the preparation of their reports. Clough & Associates has also carried out assessments for iwi in support of Waitangi Tribunal claims.


Statutory requirements for heritage largely fall under the HPA 1993 and RMA 1991. Under the HPA assessments for S11 or S12 authorities to modify or destroy archaeological sites may be required. If the consent is granted (under Section 14 /15 of the Act) the requirements are set out in the authority. These could involve monitoring of earthworks or a full scale investigation and recording of all archaeological remains, with a detailed report to the HPT.

TLAs are responsible for heritage under Sections 6 and 7 of the RMA. Further requirements relating to heritage are often defined in the conditions of the Resource Consent. These usually identify protocols to be followed in the event of unearthing archaeological remains and whether or not monitoring of the earthworks is required. TLAs are also responsible under the RMA for identifying significant heritage within their boundaries. There are greater constraints on proposals affecting items scheduled in District Plans.


Today, many projects proceed through Territorial Local and Regional Authority planning hearings. Some, particularly sensitive issues such as landfill, quarrying and large scale utility projects, end up in the Environment Court and occasionally the High Court.

At each of these stages, the archaeologist can be called upon to provide evidence as an expert witness - even when there is no significant archaeology on the site. Clough & Associates has had extensive experience in providing such evidence.


A common condition of an HPT Authority is monitoring of earthworks by an archaeologist, particularly in areas with a high probability of heritage remains. Clough & Associates has had considerable experience in site monitoring. Depending on circumstances and heritage potential, monitoring may involve being on site for all initial earthworks, or be confined to regular spot checks, or simply being on call should any remains be uncovered.


When recorded sites are to be destroyed by development, a site investigation under S15 of the HPA is likely to be required as a condition of the authority. Under S17 of the HPA this must be carried out by an appropriately qualified archaeologist approved by the HPT.

Investigation of the site using standard archaeological recording techniques must be carried out prior to earthmoving and construction works. Cultural material such as midden and artefacts are analysed following the site investigation, and a detailed technical report on the investigation must be submitted to the HPT.

Clough & Associates has carried out numerous site investigations, of both Maori and 19th century European archaeological sites.


Conservation Plans are prepared to guide the management of historic buildings or sites. They incorporate a detailed history of the historic place, an assessment of the cultural heritage significance of the place and its component parts, and a range of policies designed to ensure that the significance of the place is preserved.

Conservation Plans should be prepared to ICOMOS standards following the accepted practice as set out in J.S. Kerr,The Conservation Plan (The National Trust of Australia, NSW, 1990). and Guidelines for Preparing Conservation Plans (Wellington, NZ Historic Places Trust, 1994).

Clough & Associates Ltd has been involved in the preparation of a number of conservation plans.

Keywords: Archaeology, Site Investigation

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