How do you prevent priceless geological taonga falling prey to the diggers? It's a problem that's most recently come to light with the case of Foulden Maar near Middlemarch in Otago.
The 28 million year old site with perfectly preserved fossils had somehow flown under the radar of national significance. Dr Bruce Hayward from the Geoscience Society says the problem will certainly happen again somewhere in New Zealand unless action is taken. He wants what are termed as Outstanding Natural Features, already in the RMA - to be clearly defined, documented and assessed as a matter of national importance.
Dr Hayward has authored a Best Practice guide:Outstanding Natural Features: What are they and how should they be identified?