Department of Conservation, Auckland Conservancy and Auckland Regional
Field survey was undertaken jointly by the Kaikoura Island Archaeological
Survey authors, Andy Dodd and Vanessa Tanner with assistance from Judith
Grant, Rhonda Morrison, Thomas Emeritt, and Don Prince. Assistance with
scale drawings of built structures was provided by Sarah Macready. Comments
on historical information were provided by Don Armitage, Graeme Murdoch, and
Geology & Soil Types
Kaikoura Island was purchased in 2004 by the Crown in response to
initial lobbying from the New Zealand Native Forest Restoration Trust (NZNFRT)
for the purpose of establishing a public reserve. With the bulk of the
purchase funds provided by the Nature Heritage Fund, the island was gazetted
as a scenic reserve, although administration of the island has been ceded to
the recently formed Motu Kaikoura Trust made up of representatives from
NZNFRT, Friends of Tiritiri Matangi, and Ngati Rehua. Control of the island
was handed over to the Motu Kaikoura Trust in April 2005.
The restoration of Kaikoura is largely intended to be carried out through a
programme of weed and pest management allowing the island to naturally
regenerate. At the same time it is intended that the island will become a
centre for outdoor and environmental education for the youth of Auckland. It
is envisaged that the establishment of additional tracks, buildings, and
facilities will be necessary for the purposes of both programmes.
Accordingly an archaeological survey has been carried out by the Department
of Conservation for the purpose of identifying the archaeological resources
present on the island, and allowing for their integrated management during
the restoration programme.
Kaikoura (Selwyn) Island is a 564.13 ha, roughly triangular shaped island
located on the western coast of Great Barrier Island between Port
Abercrombie and Man of War Passage. Motuhaku and Nelson Islands continue an
island chain off the north-western point of Kaikoura, and the eastern
coastline of the island creates the western margin of Port Fitzroy.
The island comprises predominantly medium to steeply graded ridges and
spurs, mostly running off the northern and southern sides of a central main
ridgeline which connects the north-western and north-eastern points of the
island. Rocky outcrops occur frequently along the narrow ridgelines. There
is little flat land on the island, and where is does occur is mostly in the
vicinity of the artificially levelled airstrip, and the more gently sloping
spurs around the farm gully on the southern side of the island.
Kaikoura has in recent time been subject to considerable erosion on the
steeper northern slopes exposing large areas of dry red clay, often down to
bedrock, a result of uncontrolled grazing by deer, goats and pigs.
GEOLOGY AND SOIL TYPES
Geology is classified as roughly stratified and poorly sorted andesitic
breccias, tuffs and agglomerates of Pliocene to Miocene origin (NZMS290
series). Soils are predominantly Fitzroy Hill soils mixed with Barrier
steepland soils, clay loam and rocky clay loam, along with smaller isolated
areas of Fitzroy clay loam and bouldery clay loam on the central ridge, farm
gully and on the tops of the spurs on the northern coastline (NZMS290
Sporadic farm clearing and grazing by deer and goats over the last 150 years
has left much of the island devoid of its original forest vegetation.
Presently vegetation cover is largely regenerating scrub cover comprising
low manuka/kanuka (Leptospermum scoparium/Kunzea ericoides) with large areas
of gorse (Ulex europaeus) and hakea (Hakea sericea), and scattered maritime
and radiata pines (Pinus pinaster, Pinus radiata). Larger areas of pines
have been planted on the south-eastern side of the island in the vicinity of
the wharf with occasional gum (Eucalyptus spp.) and macrocarpa (Cupressus
macrocarpa). Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) and coastal natives scatter
the coastal fringe, with a few discrete gullies on the southern and eastern
coastline containing predominantly native tree species including kauri (Agathis
australis), kohekohe (Dysoxylum spectible), taraire (Beilschmiedia taraire),
tawa (Beilschmiedia tawa), puriri (Vitex lucens), ngaio (Myoporum laetum),
kawakawa (Macropiper excelsum), karaka (Corynocarpus laevigatus), and Ponga
fern (Cyathea dealbata). Smaller areas of grassland occur around the
airstrip and farm gully.
SURVEY METHOD and RESULTS
The New Zealand
Archaeological Association Central Index (CINZAS) and Auckland Regional
Council Cultural Heritage Inventory (CHI) were searched for previously
recorded archaeological, and historic sites. Copies of plans and titles held
at Land Information New Zealand were also searched. A review of
archaeological and historical publications relating to the general area were
undertaken. Great Barrier historians Graeme Murdoch (Auckland Regional
Council), Tony Bouzaird (Great Barrier) and Don Armitage (Great Barrier)
were consulted, with additional information on recent history provided by
George Weck. Research relating to the military occupation of Kaikoura was
also conducted by Dave Veart (Department of Conservation). In addition to
sources cited in the bibliography the Bob Young archives, and DOC Auckland
Conservancy library were searched.
Field survey was
carried out from 23-29 October 2005 with an additional site recorded on a
subsequent visit 12 December 2005. Site recording was undertaken primarily
by Andy Dodd and Vanessa Tanner with assistance from Motu Kaikoura Trust
volunteers Judith Grant, Rhonda Morrison and interim island caretaker,
Field work was
initially carried out via pedestrian survey along the tops of ridges and
spurs, in the vicinity of stream gullies and mouths, and along the coastal
fringe where terrain permitted.
Vegetation was in
many areas dense and visibility was often severely limited. Consequently
survey conditions could be described as poor to fair. While parts of the
island were difficult going, most of the island was reasonably accessible.
While the survey
was carried out specifically to locate and record archaeological remains, it
was limited to visual inspection of surface features. No intrusive
investigation was carried out during the survey. As a result additional
sub-surface remains may be uncovered during any future earthworks. In the
event of any additional archaeological remains being encountered, these
should be reported to historic staff at the Department of Conservation.
This survey does
not necessarily include the location or the assessment of wahi tapu or sites
of spiritual and cultural significance to the local Maori community, who
should be consulted independently for any information or concerns that they
Sites such as
wahi tapu and Maori burials, although not considered archaeological, have
been given brief mention in this report where their existence has been drawn
to the attention of the author. This is primarily as a precautionary measure
to ensure that scheduled work does not negatively impact on these places.
The nature and extent of these sites has not been investigated during this
survey, and Ngati Rehua should be considered the sole authority in this
matter. If further information is required on these places, or if work is
being scheduled in these areas, advice should be sought directly from Ngati
In addition to
the three sites previously recorded a further 30 sites were identified
during the survey. New Zealand Archaeological Site Records have been
completed for each site and are attached as an appendix to this report.
Additional copies have been deposited with the Auckland Regional Council for
inclusion in the Cultural Heritage Inventory. A brief description
Recorded Archaeological Sites
'Kaikoura Island Archaeological Survey' Andy
Dodd and Vanessa Tanner Department of Conservation 2006.