In the “World Heritage tentative list frequently asked questions

It is anticipated that DOC will lead the process in the preparation of New Zealand site nominations to be presented to the World Heritage Committee. The preparation of each site nomination is expected to take between 18 months and three years, from initiation to completion, with the proposed rate of progress for advancing New Zealand’s tentative list being one site nomination per year, alternating between cultural sites and natural sites.

It is anticipated that site nominations will commence in 2008 and will continue to at least 2015. Stakeholder input is also essential to this nomination process. A wide variety of stakeholders, including site owners, tangata whenua, local and regional governments, local communities, NGOs and other interested parties will be involved in addition to New Zealand experts in the fields of natural and cultural heritage.

Summarised below is the process leading to a site being inscribed on the World Heritage List.

World heritage inscription process (commencing 2007)

1. Tentative list announcement

Government announces it will investigate the eight sites that make up the New Zealand World Heritage tentative list. It includes a proposed order for sites based on the ease of achieving the investigation phase.

2. Investigation phase (commencing 2008)

  • Firstly, engaging all stakeholders
  • Finding information on the site itself
  • Finding information on the international context of the site
  • Achieving quality heritage management of the site

Where these tasks can be completed to world heritage quality standards, the site moves to the assessment phase.

3. New Zealand assessment phase

  • Does the site have ‘outstanding universal value’?
  • Do key stakeholders support world heritage status?
  • Is a commitment to quality heritage management in place?
  • Are quality standards met? (yes/no/needs more work)
  • A successful outcome leads to a nomination report.

4. Nomination report

A standard format site nomination report is submitted to UNESCO regional office.

5. UNESCO assessment phase

World heritage nominations are assessed by UNESCO regional office.

  • Desk assessment exercise by UNESCO staff, if successful, followed by:
  • On-site assessment by an ICOMOS expert team
  • Are world heritage criteria met? (yes/no/needs more work)

A successful outcome leads to submission to the World Heritage Committee.

6. World Heritage Committee decision

World Heritage Committee delegates consider the nomination.

  • Are world heritage criteria met? (yes/no/needs more work)
  • World heritage delegates vote
  • A successful vote leads to inscription on the World Heritage List.

7. Future opportunities

Tentative list sites needing more work can be resubmitted.

Additional tentative list possibilities can be considered in the future. 

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