Why do we have Heritage Areas?

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Heritage in the Far North 

The Far North has a rich history, with many early Māori and European settlements that tell stories of local and regional importance. Some of these areas are of national and international significance. 

We have had continuous settlement from early Māori occupation until today. There are few other districts in New Zealand with such continuous social and cultural links to our nation's past events.

It is important that we protect this heritage because it gives context for how we live today. It brings us a sense of place and connection with our past, and a chance to understand traditions and our ancestors’ way of life. 

Strong links to our past bring social, cultural, and economic benefits too – they provide high quality places to live and offer tourism and education opportunities.

What is heritage? More than just old buildings...

Historic heritage means those natural and physical resources that contribute to an understanding and appreciation of New Zealand’s history and cultures, deriving from any of the following qualities: 

archaeological, architectural, cultural, historic, scientific, technological and includes historic sites, structures, places and areas; and archaeological sites and sites of significance to Māori, including wāhi tapu and surroundings associated with the natural and physical resources. (Resource Management Act 1991, Section 2, Interpretation.)