In order to care for and protect our heritage we ask ourselves six important questions. Following the ‘6Ps’ means that you can enjoy the many historic places we manage in New Zealand.
Place - what and where is our heritage?
We need to know what and where archaeological and historic sites are so that we can protect and manage them. We ensure we have records for all sites on conservation land.
Protect - how do we avoid harm to our heritage?
We have legal responsibilities to protect heritage from harm. We ensure our work plans assess any effects that may impact on heritage and this helps us to avoid harm.
Prioritise - how do we choose which historic places we manage?
We cannot manage every historic place. We assess historic and cultural significance to help us make the decision about which become actively conserved with a historic and visitor work programme.
Plan - how do we decide what heritage work needs to be done?
We prepare work plans that recommend conservation work options and identify any constraints that may apply. We know what work will be done and why.
Preserve - how do we achieve the best preservation results for historic places we manage?
We use work specifications that detail the proposed work and use on-site work controls as work progresses. Work is done to heritage standards.
Promote - how do we involve and connect people to our historic places?
We tell people why places are special, why they should visit and what work DOC has done, because the involvement of people is vital to heritage management. We use interpretation signs, hands-on training courses and the DOC website to do this.
Treaty of Waitangi
Māori, as tangata whenua (people of the land), exercise kaitiakitanga or guardianship with respect to the natural world and cultural sites to maintain and revitalise their cultural practices. Effective partnerships with tangata whenua can achieve enhanced conservation of natural resources and historical and cultural heritage. DOC consults with tangata whenua on the management of specific places.
Heritage conservation best practice
DOC is a corporate member of the New Zealand Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites, better known as ICOMOS.
ICOMOS exists to encourage best practice in the protection and management of historic heritage. A New Zealand Charter has been developed to guide the quality of conservation work and DOC follows this charter when managing historic places in its care.