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Background - connecting you to New Zealand central & local government services

The information on this page is drawn from the following Fact Sheet: Government decisions April 2010 (.pdf) 86k*

*This document is in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download a free version from the Adobe site.


  • Integrate three government departments central to the management of government information:
    • National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
    • Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga and
    • the Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwhenua.
    The change is part of wider work to ensure continuous improvement, resilience and effectiveness in the Public Service, to ensure agencies are able to continue to perform efficiently when funding is tight.
  • Ensure the integration:
    • improves services,
    • maintains statutory independence of the National Librarian and the Chief Archivist as exists now,
    • maintains the Alexander Turnbull Library, and
    • strengthens the enduring cultural institutions of Archives New Zealand and the National Library and ensure they are best able to use new technology to serve their users, and the generations to come.


  • Change the structure of Internal Affairs to manage its new and existing responsibilities and integrate the services, functions and capability of the National Library of New Zealand and Archives New Zealand with Internal Affairs.
  • Preserve statutory independence for the Chief Archivist and National Librarian and Chief Librarian of the Alexander Turnbull Library.
  • Preserve the statutory roles of the Archives Council Te Rua Wānanga, the Guardians Kaitiaki of the Alexander Turnbull Library and the Library and Information Advisory Commission.


The departments have related functions - each stores and provides information which is of particular value because it is gathered, verified, classified, preserved or organised by government for the present and future benefit of our people and nation. Examples are archives, heritage collections of national cultural importance, identity records, publicly accessible datasets and government statistics.
  • Future investment needs are best met through integration. All three agencies are investing to deliver their information online, at all times. Both Archives New Zealand and the National Library have significant digitisation plans and bringing these departments together with Internal Affairs will support this development with less risk and cost. The integration will produce opportunities for the use of common capability, expertise, economies of scale, and transfers to frontline services through shared backroom services and better access for the public
  • Realise potential economies of scale and make the best use of information management capability
  • Enable the agencies to respond to changing expectations about the delivery of government services (especially web-based access)
  • Consolidate the expertise of each agency to align approaches to supporting New Zealanders in accessing government information using web-based technologies.


  • The State Services Commission (SSC) will lead work on the law changes required and is responsible for advice to government on this proposal. The State Services Commissioner has delegated the role of leading the change process to the Chief Executive of the Department of Internal Affairs.
  • All three agencies will, until integration, be headed by their present Chief Executives.
  • A programme governance group, including the chief executives of the agencies directly involved in the change and the relevant SSC Deputy Commissioner has been set up.


  • The programme governance group is working to have provided advice to Government legislative changes to the government to allow a law change and integration by the end of the year. As project planning goes ahead, dates for achieving different stages in the project will be set.


  • There are no proposals to change the physical location of any service as a result of this amalgamation, although staff providing shared services might be relocated to be with colleagues who are part of the same group. There will be no change in building programmes because of the integration.

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Last updated: 30/04/2010