The metallic history here is only around 300 years old – originally established by English settlers and sailors. Finds can be a bit on the sparse side, but there is still ‘treasure’ to be found if you love history and are a bit of a detective. The members of the Metal Detecting NZ Aotearoa Facebook page are always more than happy to share their knowledge when trying to identify a puzzling find. I’m nearly 70 years of age and last year I sold my motorbike, so I needed a new passion and basically that’s where detecting came in.
Here, the same as pretty much anywhere else, digging is conducted according to common-sense and ethics, getting permission first, reporting any significant finds, removing rubbish and leaving a tidy, nearly invisible hole behind. It’s also rather a matter of pride as well, I love exploring the history of the artefacts we find and learning about the people of that time, how they lived, what they did. As an added bonus all this stimulating activity keeps me fit and connected to the world. Not everything I dig is a treasure of course, but treasures to be found here in New Zealand include badges, buckles, old jewellery, predecimal coins, English silver and even gold coins, lead toys, buttons, lead bullets, square nails, musket balls and tools, etc.
I was very glad to have the opportunity to conduct a search adjacent to an old homestead at Wai-iti, which is about an hour from my home. The owner of the propert