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Cultural approach to geosite evaluation

A unique convergence of ecological, geological and cultural values in South Auckland showcases the need to integrate multiple elements in volcanic site evaluations.

Ihumātao Peninsula hosts a Quaternary lava flow field with tuff rings, scoria and spatter cones within the Auckland Volcanic Field (AVF).

Home to one of the region’s most significant sites – the Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve (OSHR) – geosite evaluation methods reveal potentially high geoheritage values requiring effective education, conservation and tourism-related programmes to protect the region.

A study of the area shows that effective management strategies can add and conserve these geosite values, supporting positive outcomes and limiting potential urban spread on the reserve border.

These geoheritage values offer greater understanding of the interplay between low coastal land and rising basaltic magma. It is this interplay that has resulted in potentially the greatest volcanic geodiversity within the AVF.

The undeveloped area also provides an unbroken physical and cultural record dating to the arrival of the first humans in New Zealand.

Artefacts and archaeological sites highlight the early interaction with the landscape.

High geoheritage values are influenced by the strong cultural link between, particularly, the indigenous community and the volcanic landscape. These cultural factors are integral to future geosite evaluation methods, providing a base for community education and site protection.

Attachments

The Role of Cultural and Indigenous Values in Geosite Evaluations on a Quaternary Monogenetic Volcanic Landscape at Ihumātao, Auckland Volcanic Field, New Zealand. Cover
The Role of Cultural and Indigenous Values in Geosite Evaluations on a Quaternary Monogenetic Volcanic Landscape at Ihumātao, Auckland Volcanic Field, New Zealand.

Publication Date: 29/10/2016