"Archaeological sites are an irreplaceable part of our heritage and although our history is short, it is rich, varied and unique, and belongs to all New Zealanders" - Heritage New Zealand

Some of New Zealand’s most precious treasure lies in the remains of the people who first made this country their home. Opus helps identify, protect and preserve these precious sites, which is vital to understanding and learning from our cultural heritage while connecting all New Zealanders to each other and to their past.

The New Zealand Transport Agency turned to our Archaeology team to understand and anticipate where existing and proposed road corridors might intersect with archaeological sites, in order to avoid them before road construction begins.

Our team used a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) method which incorporated expert archaeological knowledge to predict where prehistoric humans would have preferred for settlement, horticulture and other land uses. Our team were able to use this expert knowledge to form off site suitability rules resulting in a risk map covering the length of State Highway 11 in the Bay of Islands.

The resulting archaeological risk map we provided allows road asset managers, planners, and engineers to plan future expenditure more effectively and minimize harm to cultural heritage sites, by presenting a more comprehensive spatial representation of risk. Through our work with the Transport Agency we are helping preserve our unique cultural history for the future.