Appraisal is the process of judging or evaluating records to decide:
- which records are of permanent, archival value and need to be retained, and
- which records are of temporary value and can be destroyed after a specific period of time.
This evaluation involves research on the public office(s) that created or controlled the records, and the records themselves, in order to develop a set of disposal criteria. These criteria provide justification and assurance to the Chief Archivist on the quality of the disposal recommendations.
The broad criteria for evaluating records are:
- Evidential value — does the record provide evidence of the origins, structure, functions and activities of the New Zealand government, and of private and public rights?
- Historical or general informational value — is the record relevant to the technological, sociological, genealogical, historical and cultural heritage of New Zealand, or New Zealanders’ sense of their national identity?
- Accountability — can the record be used to hold the government responsible for its decisions and actions?
- Legal requirements — is there a legal need to keep the record for a set period or indefinitely?
- Other considerations — this may include the physical characteristics of the record including completeness, physical condition, cost of retention, scarcity, or monetary value.
Information for public offices can be viewed at Records Appraisal and Disposal.
Information for local authorities can be viewed at Advice for local authorities.