Why does MAANZ exist?

Around the New Zealand coast there are over 2000 shipwrecks or maritime sites. New Zealand's earliest known shipwreck dates to 1795. Many wrecks have been subjected to fossicking by divers for the odd relic, many of which have not received the necessary conservation treatment, to prevent them from deteriorating and have been unfortunately lost. Once artifacts are removed from site without correct recording of the site, their context in relation to the wreck is lost, therefore their relevance to history is also lost.

These activities not only deprive the nation of these treasures, but also destroy the historical value of these artifacts.

Shipwrecks provide us with a fascinating glimpse of the past. The cargo and the possessions of the crew and passengers can give us an insight in to the life style of the people, the countries they come from and their destination.

The remains of the vessels can provide us with information on building techniques and materials used in their construction.

So much valuable information is lost through incorrect wreck investigation, through lack of knowledge or understanding of how important these finds might be.

In New Zealand, any shipwreck of a vessel that was built prior to 1900AD is protected as an archaeological site by the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act.

All shipwrecks are protected by the Maritime Transport Act 1994. However, these Acts alone cannot save these wrecks. In an attempt to protect New Zealand's rich maritime heritage, a group of concerned divers and non-divers joined together to form this association through which it is hoped that divers and others can be educated to act responsibly and correctly with sites and artifacts.

MAANZ and its role

MAANZ role is to provide a voice for our maritime heritage in the areas of research, community awareness and in the promotion of appropriate site investigation procedures. MAANZ details the principles it upholds here:

MAANZ Principles (PDF 70KB)

MAANZ conducts its activities in accordance with a formal constitution, provided here:

MAANZ Constitution (PDF 75KB)

MAANZ is a not-for-profit organisation registered with the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs Charities Services. MAANZ's registration details are available here:

MAANZ - Charity Summary
(Charities Services  Website)