National Library of New Zealand
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Records Appraisal and Disposal

An effective records management programme should include provision for records appraisal and disposal. Systematic records disposal is good business practice, ensuring that money and staff time is not wasted on administration and storage of records with no business or archival value.

Public records disposal can only legally take place with authorisation from the Chief Archivist. Under the Public Records Act 2005 (external link), “disposal” includes: 

  1. transferring control of the public record to the Chief Archivist;
  2. destroying the public record;
  3. altering the public record;
  4. discharging the public record (which means cancelling the status of a public record under certain circumstances);
  5. transferring the public record to another public office; and
  6. selling the public record.

Archives New Zealand’s Appraisal Policy supports the Chief Archivist's decision making around the disposal of public records, as is required by section 20 of the Public Records Act (PRA) 2005. It is relevant to all persons undertaking the appraisal of public records, including: