A six–week training programme hosted by Archives New Zealand has been a real eye opener says Solomon Island National Archives’ Records Management Officer Bernard Risu and Senior Researcher Louisa Laekeni.
Bernard and Louisa arrived at Archives New Zealand’s Wellington Office at the beginning of August. During their time here they have been shown many aspects of archiving, including appraisal and arrangement and description as well as preservation and recordkeeping. They say what they have learnt will be very useful in their work back home.
Louisa says, “The importance of proper archiving is only just being realised in the Solomons. The time I’ve spent in New Zealand has given me an opportunity to see what archives can really be like. We have seen a wide range of different archives and have learnt a lot that we can use when we get back.”
Bernard says they have a lot of challenges to work through but also now have a lot of ideas.
“We will be doing a mass awareness campaign to let people know the importance of good recordkeeping,” he says. “Our other priorities are staff development, working through the backlog of unprocessed records and reappraising our holdings. We’ll also be looking to advise the government on records management and disposal and improve our reference service to government and the public,” he said
There are almost 1,000 islands in the Solomons. The National Archives are situated in the capital Honiara on the island of Guadalcanal and were established in the late 1970s as part of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage. Approximately 120,000 items are held in the archives, mostly from 1893 to 1978 when it was a British Protectorate.
Bernard and Louisa’s training programme was funded by NZ Aid. While in New Zealand they also spent time at the Kaipara District Council and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Marist Archives in Wellington.
Photographs and documents relating to Chinese living in the Auckland region in the late 19th and early 20th centuries feature in an online exhibition by the Auckland Regional Office of Archives New Zealand.
The exhibition Auckland Chinese focuses on three people, Ah Kit, Lau Fong, and Wong You. A final album relates to Chinese living in inner city Auckland and includes references to the businessmen Wong Gong and James Ah Kew, as well as Wong Hol of Wakefield Street, and the child Evelyn Wong Tong.
The range of sources available to researchers at Archives New Zealand Auckland Regional Office is highlighted; viewers can look at Customs correspondence, certificates of registration and photographs collected under the Immigration Restriction Amendment Act 1908, a Customs inwards passenger list, an Auckland Hospital Charitable Aid Board application for relief, and a Wellesley Street School class list.
The two albums devoted to Ah Kit include photographic images over a 15 year period, certificates of registration, and correspondence with the Customs Department documenting Ah Kit’s efforts to bring his brother Ah Ling, his wife Ganjup, and his two sons Ah Yim and Ah Keong to New Zealand.
Members of the Auckland Chinese community, and Nigel Murphy, author of the book Guide to laws and policies relating to the Chinese in New Zealand 1871 – 1997, provided valuable feedback during the exhibition’s preparation.
The exhibition can be viewed on http://gallery.archives.govt.nz/v/auckland.
Archives New Zealand has appointed Richard Hipgrave as Manager of the Public Records Act Audit Programme.
Richard Hipgrave has more than 25 years experience as an information management professional and has led a number of audits and investigative reviews in both the public and private sector
Under the Public Records Act 2005 (the Act), Archives New Zealand is required to carry out independent audits of recordkeeping in state sector agencies. Around 200 public offices will be audited across a period of five years (about 40 per year). These will begin next year.
Richard Hipgrave says, “the purpose of the audits is to ensure that recordkeeping across government supports accountability and good business practice.”
He will lead a small team, to include two senior audit advisors and an audit programme coordinator.
“The programme gets underway in February 2010. We will visit the first 40 audit clients, take them through the audit process, discuss the expected outcomes, and identify any concerns they may have,” Richard Hipgrave says.
“After the initial visit clients will use a self-assessment audit tool to evaluate their recordkeeping capability. The audit team will review these self-assessments to identify risk areas and follow-up with them as appropriate.
Our main aim is to ensure government agencies create, maintain, and dispose of records in accordance with the Act.
Good recordkeeping is simply good business practice, and is an essential part of efficient government. The Public Records Act audits are the way of ensuring public offices are held accountable to these objectives.”
Richard Hipgrave emigrated from the United Kingdom to New Zealand in 1981. Between 1981 and 1989 he lectured in information management at Victoria University in Wellington. For a number of years he ran workshops for the Henley MBA programme on Managing Information and The Strategic Management of Information Systems.
He has published several articles on information management and two books: Computer Terms and Acronyms: A Dictionary and the Fantastic 1960s Trivia Book.