Preserving our Heritage

There are several significant heritage and archeological sites within the company’s forests.

A recent land acquisition at Takitoa forest contained part of a Maori Pa of great significance known as Pa a Te Moua - "the Pa of the old fighting days."  This recent addition to City Forests archaeological sites is one of the most significant in the company's estate. Local Rununga were consulted about the change of land ownership in order to address any specific concerns relating to Maori archaeological and cultural values. The Pa site was in forest under the previous land owner and was replanted in 2019 to meet emissions trading scheme (ETS) obligations. City Forests' intends to have an updated archaeological survey completed in consultation and with the agreement of local Rununga.

An archeological survey uncovered remnants of the Taratu Mines in Tokoiti Forest, that were active from 1884 until 1947. The underground coalmines supplied coal to ships on the Clutha River. The threat of forestry operations damaging mine remnants meant a policy was adopted with specific constraints and requirements to minimise any possible damage. The operations must also be aware of the dangers of hidden mine shafts.

Waipori Forest has many historic remnants, legacies of the Waipori gold rush from 1861 to 1904 and the development of the Waipori hydro electricity system which first supplied power to Dunedin in 1907. Access is restricted by forestry operations.

Flagstaff Forest features some remnants of the Silverstream water race that were once part of Dunedin’s water system. Walking or biking access is available off Bell Road via Longridge Road outside of forestry operating hours.

Viaduct at Flagstaff water race
Viaduct at Flagstaff water race

The Tunnels is an interesting series of gold mining tunnels on the Yellow Ridge Track in Silverpeaks Forest. Access is restricted by forestry operations.

Harvesting around a newly rediscovered rock wall in the company's Ferny Hill forest has been successfully completed and has been assessed for its post-harvest condition by an archaeologist late in 2019 with no issues identified.

Harvesting around a significant rock wall and a Maori Oven / Umu in the Silverpeaks was been successfully completed. Local Rununga were consulted prior to harvesting in this area in order to address any specific concerns relating to Maori archaeological and cultural values. Both sites have been assessed for post-harvest condition by an archaeologist in early 2020 with no issues were identified. 

During 2022 a further archaeological survery was completed prior to harvesting around some early farming remnants (rock walls) in another part of the company's Silverpeaks forest.

During 2023 we have refrreshed and extended the archaeological survey of some early gold mining remains in an adjacent branch of the upper Waikouaiti River, in preparation for a period of  adjacent harvesting activity.