site recording on Kaikoura has been limited. Don Fasher consulted with local
Maori when constructing the airstrip. He was informed that there were three
sensitive areas located on Mitre Peak, Mount Overlook, and on the high point
to the west of Bradshaw Cove (Fasher pers. com. as cited by Harlow 2001:3).
In 1996 Brenda
Sewell recorded two additional WWII sites on Kaikoura on the basis of
hearsay. Sites information in this instance was provided by Garth Cooper.
conducted an archaeological assessment for a proposed Telecom cell tower in
2001 (in the immediate vicinity of the already existing Vodaphone tower)
although this was never erected.
There has been no
systematic survey undertaken for Kaikoura Island prior to the present
There has been no
report of archaeological excavation on Kaikoura Island to date.
As with any
archaeological landscape sites on Kaikoura Island are a product both of past
settlement distribution and land use as well as recent factors which have
influenced their survival. Much of the topography of the island has been
affected by large scale erosion occurring especially on the steeper and more
exposed areas along the northern coast and exacerbated by deforestation and
fallow deer grazing. The relatively more sheltered southern and eastern
parts of the island appear to have experienced less erosion. In addition
much of the flatter land around the central ridge has been used extensively
for farm activities and this is likely to have had an adverse impact on the
preservation of archaeological features. While allowing for this
preservation bias it is still possible to make some interpretation of the
settlement pattern as indicated by archaeological site distribution.
Much of the
island comprises steep slopes and settlement appears to have been
concentrated on available flat land. The central ridge and promontories such
as headlands and knolls appear to have been settled along with the mouths of
stream gullies nearer the coast. Settlement on exposed areas such as the
central ridgeline inclined towards the more sheltered southern and eastern
sides. Sites have been recorded towards the north-western and north-eastern
ends of the main ridgeline and there are likely to have been further
settlement features towards the central part of this ridge, now destroyed by
farming activity and more recently by the construction of the main airstrip.
The ridgelines tend to be characterised by rocky outcrops and stone debris,
and sites were often identified as areas where stone had been cleared to
create usable land. These sites tended to be characterised by either stone
mounds to the sides of the cleared area or considerable amounts of strewn
stone debris below. In some instances the stone appears to have been
utilised to form terrace reveting or walls and alignments, but in most cases
it seems the intention was to remove rather than use the naturally occurring
features are concentrated in closer proximity to the coast and, as might be
expected, appear to cluster around stream mouths and on coastal promontories
at knolls or on the heads of spurs. Factors such as proximity to streams and
coast, steepness of topography and soil type may assist in identifying areas
where subsurface archaeological deposits are more likely to be encountered
(see Tatton 1994:123-5). Stone debris was less common in many of these areas
and as such has been incorporated less into the site and features.
contain rocky shore species available from the island and local environs,
and tend to suggest limited exploitation. Acidic soils are likely to have
resulted in less than ideal conditions for the preservation of fish bone and
other organic remains and this may be a contributing factor in the
sparseness of the midden deposits encountered. The name Kaikoura suggests
also marine exploitation other than shellfish gathering.
Pa located on the
northern side of the island on prominent high points are relatively large in
scale, and it would have been feasible for people to live inside these
areas, as well as seeking refuge in times of conflict. Names of the two pa
are given as Motukaraka and Pahangahou (Murdoch pers. com.).
features relating to farm settlement, and European occupation were fairly
limited. Continuing use in the same area is likely to have removed much of
the evidence relating to early farming. Features encountered included dams
in streams, and a former house site. Additional sites if they still exist
might reasonably be expected in the central farm gully, and central ridge
around the edges of the airstrips.
World War II
from World War II relating to the controlled mine field are clustered in and
around Bradshaw Cove. The observation post is sited for its views of Port
Abercrombie, with the remainder of the outpost sheltered in the stream gully
below the ridge line where there is better access to fresh water. The
observation post and barracks appear to have been linked by a benched track,
and the outpost in Bradshaw Cove was linked via cable link to the mine field
and also to the radar station at Moors Peak above Nagle Cove on the opposite
side of Port Abercrombie. An additional gun emplacement for Port Fitzroy was
planned for the north-easternmost point of the island but was never actioned.
It is not envisaged that additional sites relating to the World War II
occupation will be encountered on the island.
assess the significance of sites individually it is more practical to assess
the group in a landscape context. This has been done for both Maori and
historic period sites. The assessment criteria adopted for this report
follow those outlined in Walton 1999.
No early sites
were identified during the course of the survey, but the island is said to
have been occupied from the 14th century. While populations would have
fluctuated over time Maori occupation of Kaikoura was continuous up until
the time of its sale into European ownership in 1838. Without further
archaeological investigation it is impossible to determine whether the
individual sites identified thus far are contemporary or whether settlement
pattern has shifted over time.
In additional to
the Maori occupation the island has been farmed since 1863. It is not known
specifically where any early farming was located but it is likely to have
been in the vicinity of more recent farming on the more gently sloping
southern side of the main ridge and around the broad gully to the south of
Mitre Peak. The first permanent house on Kaikoura appears to have been built
on the southern coast in 1888, and although the site was re-used numerous
times since then a few of the remnants from the old house site in Man o war
passage may relate to this. Other buildings of heritage significance on the
island are the military structures which were constructed in 1942.
archaeological landscape includes sites relating to a variety of activities.
Common site types usually include those relating to subsistence such as
coastal middens, and occupation and settlement such as terracing and pits.
The archaeological landscape on Kaikoura also includes several less common
feature types including stone reveting and walls usually restricted to sites
in volcanic areas and on offshore islands. There are two pa sites recorded
on the island and one of these includes a stone perimeter wall, and internal
stone row partitions.
present on Kaikoura are of fairly common types. The bunkers and observation
post are, however, unusually well preserved still retaining their wood
panelling and painted ceilings.
sites on Kaikoura include coastal midden, terracing, pits, stone reveting,
gardening sites, and defended sites including headland and hilltop pa.
Notable absences include stone working sites. Sites on Kaikoura tend to be
simple rather than complex in form and generally comprise a limited number
of features. More complex sites include the pa and a small number of terrace
sites on the island are relatively limited. With the exception of the former
homestead site they relate to the military occupation during WWII. They
include bunkers, barracks buildings, roads, tracks and an observation post.
Shell middens are
relatively uncommon on Kaikoura in comparison to other islands and coastal
areas, and may reflect the limited availability of soft shore shellfish
species on Kaikoura. Where midden sites have been recorded on Kaikoura they
are limited to a sparse scatter of surface shell from a few rocky shore
species such as catseyes and rock oyster.
buildings are representative of later military architecture, being simply
built. The single pitch roofs on the barracks buildings are less common, but
other similar examples exist elsewhere.
archaeological landscape on Kaikoura is considered largely degraded due to
damage by erosion, farming activity, and large scale earthworks (e.g. the
airstrip). The soils are acidic and are likely to have accelerated
deterioration of organic deposits. Scarps on earthwork features such as pits
and terracing have eroded and most of these sites are becoming vague in
appearance. Overall both the landscape and individual sites are considered
to be in relatively poor condition with some notable exceptions. Areas that
appear to have suffered less modification include the western and
northeastern portions of the central ridge, and some coastal areas.
associated with the early farming appear to have survived, with the
exception of isolated features and structures such as dams and relict
planting. The military structures however are extremely well preserved.
Group value is
considered relatively low. Archaeological sites on Kaikoura represent a
partial landscape which has suffered considerable modification over time.
Where the landscape has been less modified sites appear to form a more
continuous pattern of Maori land use on available flat land along the tops
of ridges and at stream mouths. Extant sites appear to form a fairly
representative group of site types.
Group value for
the early farming is also considered relatively low. Archaeological sites on
Kaikoura represent a partial landscape which has suffered considerable
modification over time. Conversely the, military sites represent an intact
set of sites, relatively little modified over time and have greater group
value despite their later (20th century) origin.
potential is also considered relatively low for most sites. Many of the
recorded sites have been modified by farming and forestry. There appears to
be relatively little topsoil build-up in many areas and where present
appears to be acidic. On the basis of surface evidence the sites appear to
have relatively little material suitable for dating, although some of the
larger middens (such as S08/429 and S08/444) may provide suitable material.
Sites containing stone alignment features (such as S08/424) might benefit
from limited investigation to attempt to determine the function and methods
used in the construction of these features. A small sample of obsidian was
recovered during field survey and this may be able to be traced to its
location of origin to identify trade and social connections with other parts
of the country.
The proposal to
develop an outdoor education centre on the island will mean that there will
be an excellent opportunity for some sites to be used as an education
resource. Unfortunately few sites have sufficient surface presence to be
considered suitable for this purpose.
With the island
in public ownership the potential to manage sites in a landscape context is
enhanced. In addition the archaeology is able to lend another facet in
promoting Kaikoura as a unique place.
As a whole the
archaeological landscape on Kaikoura Island is fairly degraded due to
farming operations, earthworks, and extensive erosion. This also appears to
have been exacerbated by poor preservation conditions. Kaikoura does however
include examples of less common site types such as free standing stone
walls, and reveted terracing. The islandís World War II heritage is also
unusually well preserved, and comprises a complete outpost, with structures,
tracks and roads. Public ownership and the Motu Kaikoura Trustís intention
to develop the island as an outdoor education centre present a unique
opportunity to further develop the islandís heritage potential.
with Maori settlement and historic sites predating 1900 fall within the
scope of the archaeological provisions of the Historic Places Act 1993 and
as such require an authority to be granted by the NZ Historic Places Trust
before undertaking any activity which has the potential to destroy, damage
should be generally limited to threat management, and it is envisaged that
most of the archaeological landscape on Kaikoura will be appropriately
managed passively where no threats are specifically identified. Much of the
island has already reverted to low scrubland species since grazing ceased
including manuka/kanuka and gorse and with the exception of existing tracks
and the airstrip few areas of cleared land have been maintained. The
archaeological resource comprises mostly earthwork features (pits and
terraces), stone mounds and alignments, cultivated areas and middens. The
middens are characteristically areas of sparsely scattered shell that appear
to have limited or no depth of stratigraphy. Accordingly a management regime
that provides primarily for the retention of surface earthwork features is
considered sufficient, as root growth from existing vegetation will have
already impacted upon sites with relatively shallow stratigraphy.
archaeological landscape includes examples of stone walls and reveting that
may require some active management to assist in their continued
preservation. Vegetation growth can pose a significant threat to the
preservation of these sites from trees and shrubs growing through features,
displacing and destabilising rock as well as having their foundations
undermined by tree root growth. The two best examples of stone walls are the
stone walled pa (S08/433) and the stone alignments on the north-western
ridgeline (S08/424). A programme of active management should be established
and carried out for both of these sites involving regular visits to monitor
condition and vegetation growth, and to remove any seedlings growing out of
the stone features before they reach a size where they threaten the
preservation of the features. Monitoring should seek to assess the stability
and condition of the walls so that any weakness in the structures can be
identified well before there is any threat of collapse. Suggested monitoring
timeframes are annual monitoring visits by island staff, with 5 yearly
visits by DOC historic staff. Any proposed monitoring or active management
carried out at these sites should be discussed with Ngati Rehua before
sites during restoration planting
of native vegetation on the island itself is also envisaged to be largely
passive, allowing native species to self seed in the cover provided by the
existing vegetation which in time will become shaded out. There is not
envisaged to be any active planting on the island. Should additional
planting be identified in the restoration plan it will be necessary to
ensure that archaeological sites are excluded from any planting regime, and
that staff and volunteers involved in the activity are appropriately briefed
as to the location of any recorded archaeological sites in the vicinity of
the planting area so that they can be avoided.
may be required for animal pest and weed eradication, but it is envisaged
that these are likely to take the form of cleared routes rather than formed
tracks. It is not necessary for these routes to avoid entire archaeological
sites, but these should avoid leading people across fragile features such as
stone walls, or alignments where these can be avoided. Over time foot
traffic can dislodge stones, and cause previously well formed features to
deflate or splay.
As the intended
use for the island is to establish an outdoor education facility it is
envisaged that additional formed tracks maybe created in future. Where there
is any proposed modification of the ground surface, including drains or
benching, routing should seek to avoid recorded archaeological sites. If
this cannot be achieved, there is a legal requirement to seek authorisation
to modify the site from the Historic Places Trust, and this will need to be
undertaken well in advance of any proposed work. DOC historic staff should
also be notified as they may be able to provide additional technical
assistance in meeting any conditions as set by the Historic Places Trust.
As with formed
tracks any proposed new structures should be located so as to avoid recorded
archaeological sites. Should this be considered impractical or impossible
authorisation will need to be sought from the Historic Places Trust, and DOC
historic staff should be notified.
felling and forestry operations are also recognised as activities that have
the potential to destroy damage and modify archaeological sites. Damage is
often caused to archaeological earthwork features both on impact during
felling, and when trees are dragged across features. If it is necessary to
fell exotic trees in the vicinity of recorded archaeological sites it will
also be necessary to obtain authorisation from the Historic Places Trust,
and notify DOC historic staff.
permit it may be desirable to further investigate some of the archaeological
features on Kaikoura. Possibilities may include both intrusive and
during the survey made accurate mapping of complex sites difficult. More
detailed mapping of sites such as the two pa and features on the
north-western ridgeline would assist in their long term management as well
as provide additional information on the use of these areas.
A small amount of
obsidian was recovered during the survey and identification of this may
assist in ascertaining the geography of the wider resource area and trade
connections of the people living on the island.
Little is known
about the relative dates of the sites that have been identified on the
island. Selective sampling of sites may assist in further determining
settlement pattern and land use over time. Little datable material was
identified on the pa but sites located at stream mouths such as S08/429 and
S08/444 have greater potential. Sampling of sites is intrusive investigation
and should only be undertaken with the support of Ngati Rehua, and will also
require an authority from the Historic Places Trust.
Little is also
known about the function of the stone alignments at S08/424. Sampling for
archaeological pollens, starches and phytoliths, and limited investigation
to reveal the methods of construction may assist with the interpretation of
why these alignments were constructed and provide insight into their
Wahi tapu have
been identified on the island by Ngati Rehua. For any matters relating to
wahi tapu on Motu Kaikoura Ngati Rehua should be contacted for advice on how
to proceed as the sole authority in this matter.
post (S08/398) is considered to be one of the best preserved examples of its
type due to the preservation of the wood panelling. Registration increases
the profile of heritage resources and provides external recognition which
can assist in generating funding for remedial work and repair. It is
therefore recommended that registration and scheduling of the observation
post is sought with the Historic Places Trust and Auckland City Council.
The buildings and bunkers in
Bradshaw Cove, as well as the observation post overlooking Port Abercrombie
currently require remedial work and ongoing maintenance to bring them up to
a presentable and usable standard. Together these structures comprise an
intact military outpost as part of the wider defences for the port of
Auckland during the second world war, and a significant local heritage
resource worthy of active management. Advice should be sought with regards
to the repair and ongoing maintenance of these structures, and their