Guidelines For Accidental Discoveries During Silt Removal

Posted By HBFA | November 8, 2023

The following guidance has been drafted to assist Hawke’s Bay horticultural growers clearing silt from their properties, resulting from Cyclone Gabrielle.

This advice has been drafted to help growers appropriately manage anything that they accidentally discover as they are removing silt from their land. The flooding dramatically altered the landscape, and amongst other things, washed bones out of urupa/burial sites, and unearthed other previously buried taonga/treasures. This means you could come across something unexpected as you are removing silt.

To help reduce the chances of this happening, when you are removing silt from orchards and agricultural land, try to avoid removing existing underlying soil (i.e., digging below ground level) – this will help reduce the risk of any accidental discoveries.

If you do encounter something unexpected during silt removal, immediately stop and do the following:


This guidance about accidental discoveries should be read in conjunction with the Guidelines for the removal of silt from Cyclone Gabrielle affected properties prepared by EAM NZ Ltd for Horticulture New Zealand.

It is high-level guidance intended to help you manage your silt removal activity appropriately. For specific advice on particular fact scenarios, please contact your own advisors, or Charlotte Drury of HortNZ (in the first instance) on 027 3225595 or Charlotte.Drury@hortnz.co.nz.


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