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Community Archives Newsletter Autumn 2010

Kia Ora, Malo e lelei, Nǐ hǎo, Talofa lava, 'Bula Vinaka', and Welcome to the autumn newsletter from the Community Archives team at Archives New Zealand. We have said a sad goodbye to summer and are wrapping up in warmer gear for the incoming winter. Changes have also occurred in our team where we have said goodbye to our lovely community archivist. Kylie Ngaropo has taken a role at Te Papa and we wish her all the very best.

New recruit:

My name is Polly and I will be stepping into the very big shoes left for me by Kylie. 
Picture of Polly Martin
I have a background in community liaison and relationships, social work and teaching which I would like to use to add value to our Community and Māori Archives Team. Many records and memories of long-term historic value to New Zealanders are held outside Archives New Zealand with iwi Māori, in community archives, in institutions, galleries, societies, educational, religious and voluntary organisations.
Archives New Zealand seeks to support the management of those archival records and tāonga by providing information and training to the communities in which they are held. I anticipate working alongside my team to assist iwi Māori and communities to manage and look after their history for all to enjoy.

Please feel free to lodge your enquiries on our website;
Alternatively you can contact me directly by email:
'Archivists are like Mechanics, no one wants to give them money or the time of day until something breaks when they become God's amongst men.' (Alex Rankin)

Out and about:

Our community archives team had a recent visit to the Ian Matheson City Archives in Palmerston North.Our Audio and Visual Senior Advisor David Smith gave a presentation about the history of audio and visual records, their various formats and preservation methods. If you can click on the following link to see the very first film ever created now available on Youtube!

David also used the following as an example of what can happen when film footage isn’t preserved carefully;

Tikina Heremia who is our Iwi researcher has also been looking after our Community Archives website. She and our manager gave an update on the progress of our website and showed some of the new functions now available. It was gratifying to see the range of attendees from Massey University, the Feilding Community Archives, the shared council repository (consisting of Tararua, Rangitikei, Horowhenua, Manawatu and Horizons Councils), Te Manawa Museum Gallery and Science centre as well as the Palmerston North Library.

Picture Ian Matherson Archive
The Ian Matheson City Archives Public Reading room

Bytes of Interest;


The New Zealand Film Archive - It’s a Sellebration: View classic Kiwi ads from 1970 to 1990 at the New Zealand Film Archive website.
Heritage Month: Heritage and Our Environment (June 2010) the Wellington Region Heritage Promotion Council, Heritage Month aims to promote and encourage the preservation of the region’s heritage during this year’s Heritage month.For more information on Heritage Month and the programme of events, go to:

archives week logo
The theme Industrious Kiwis was strongly supported by exhibitions in our Auckland and Dunedin regional offices. From whales to wine – the changing face of New Zealand focused on how archives show the development of four New Zealand industries over time.

Auckland office archivist, Wendy Goldsmith said, “our exhibition was centred on whaling (catching and killing, to whale-watching), transport (trams and trolley buses, to motorways), gold mining (693 stamper heads in Thames, to environmental impact reports), and winemaking (home consumption, to quality export).”

One of the documents in the display is an image of the Van Gelder’s Duplex Air Aspirating Grinder with Cyclone and Turbular Dust Collector. Wendy says, “this fantastically named machine, used for crushing gold ore, must have been a great improvement to the deafening stamper batteries of the 19th century.

“We have found our material in Customs records, company registration files, Wardens Courts records, Māori Affairs files, Department of Conservation files, and Mining Inspectorate records, among others,” said Wendy.
archive week photo
Of all our national assets, Archives are the most precious; they are the gift of one generation to another and the extent of our care of them marks the extent of our civilization. (Arthur G. Doughty, Dominion Archivist, 1904-1935)
New Zealand Archives has a fantastic Stakeholder newsletter called Ngā Tapawae. You can view the latest department news online at;

Introduction to Archives Course in Kaitaia

Archives New Zealand is holding an Introduction to Archives Course at Te Runanga o te Rarawa 16 Matthews Ave, Kaitaia on the 24-25 June. We are currently negotiating another course to be held at the very end of June so when the details are finalised we will post them on our website at We will also be emailing this information out to our networks. Whanganui Regional Museum very kindly provided their venue for our most recent Introductory course in February.

Wills and probate digitisation project

Archives New Zealand’s Acting Chief Executive Greg Goulding signed the contract with FamilySearch to digitise Archives’ wills and probates (estate documents that go with wills) records.This digitisation will be completed by FamilySearch volunteers Lupe Pulu and Marlene Van Cleave from the USA, and Roy and Lorraine Ditchburn from New Zealand.
Project Manager, Sarah McClintock says, “through digitisation (making electronic copies of documents and uploading them onto Archives’ online search engine, Archway) the accessibility of this rich source of information will be greatly increased.
“There are 300,000 probates in our Wellington office alone, with the earliest record from the 1840s.
The other benefit of digitisation is that delicate records such as those early probates will no longer have to handled, and so will be better preserved.” This is a department-wide project, with the wills and probates files held in the Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin offices set to be completed also. The project is expected to take five years to complete.
Download the PDF version of the newsletter here: Community Archives Autumn Newsletter