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A meeting of the Maniototo Community Board in Ranfurly on Thursday approved the grant, which would contribute to a heritage sites review across Central Otago.
The group has applied to all four community boards, for a total request of $10,000 to support the project.
Central Otago District Council community development officer Nikki Aaron told the meeting the project would bring an archaeologist and a team of experts to the region to identify sites, and those people would also put money into the local economy.
There were other sources of funding for the project, including the Central Lakes Trust and Heritage New Zealand, and the board’s contribution was small, she said.
Council executive manager planning and environment Louise van der Voort said it would also help landowners to protect significant sites.
"If people are more aware of what is out there they are less likely to plough them [archaeological remains] in."