This is a brief excerpt from the document you requested from IFAR’s Art Law & Cultural Property Database.

Country Summary for NEW ZEALAND

I.  Relevant Legislation
II.  Regulated Cultural Property

Taonga Tūturu,” (formerly referred to as “Artifact,”) is an object more than 50 years old that relates to Māori culture, history, or society, and was (or appears to have been) manufactured or modified in New Zealand by Māori, brought into New Zealand by Māori, or used by Māori. (POA, §2)


Found,” in relation to taonga tūturu, means discovered or obtained in circumstances where lawful ownership is uncertain and where the last lawful possessor is likely deceased. (POA, §2)


A “Protected New Zealand Object,” (formerly referred to as “Antiquity,”) forms part of the movable cultural heritage of New Zealand and is important for aesthetic, archaeological, architectural, artistic, cultural, historical, literary, scientific, social, spiritual, technological, or traditional reasons. 

Categories of Protected New Zealand objects include:

III.  Export Restrictions

IV.  Ownership Rights and Restrictions

V.  Violations, Penalties and Sanctions

VI.  International Conventions and Bilateral Agreements
Click here to subscribe to IFAR's Art Law & Cultural Property Database to access this and other documents about U.S. and international legislation and case law concerning the acquisition, authenticity, export, ownership, and copyright of art objects.
Country Contact
for Cultural Property
Rob Greenfield
Senior Governance Advisor,
Cultural Sector Performance Unit
Cultural Policy Branch

Ministry for Culture and Heritage = Te Manatu Taonga
Level 1, former Public Trust Office Building

131-135 Lambton Quay, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand

P.O. Box 5364, Wellington 6145, New Zealand

Tel. +64 4 499 4229
Fax +64 4 499 4490