Archives New Zealand

We need to give greater protection to the public assets of heritage value.

A rumour around Wellington in early 1994 was that there was a Treasury paper advocating selling off part of the holdings of the Alexander Turnbull Library, which contains manuscripts, books and artefacts reflecting New Zealand’s cultural, intellectual and historical heritage.

Proposals to change the unsatisfactory status of two vital heritage institutions are meeting strong resistance from their current host.

In 2010 the State Services Commission, in its bureaucratic arrogance, decided to merge Archives NZ and the National Library into the Department of Internal Affairs. National cabinet ministers, under the thumbs of their departments, agreed (such instances are more common than is usually admitted).

Why a robust constitutional framework requires Archives New Zealand's organisational independence

The Minster of State Services, Tony Ryall, has announced a merger between Archives New Zealand, the National Library, and the Department of Internal Affairs. While modest savings are promised, Ryall says the move is not primarily about saving money; rather, it is motivated by a desire to “future-proof” the Archives and the Library for an increasingly digital world