The purpose of the National Library, as defined in the National Library of New Zealand Act 2003, is to enrich the cultural and economic life of New Zealand and its interchange with other nations, as appropriate, by:

  • collecting, preserving, and protecting documents, particularly those relating to New Zealand, and make them accessible for all the people of New Zealand, in a manner consistent with their status as documentary heritage and taonga;
  • supplementing and furthering the work of other libraries in New Zealand; and
  • working collaboratively with other institutions having similar purposes, including those forming part of the international library community.

View the National Library Act (2003) on NZ Legislation website

Role of the National Library

  • To develop and maintain the Crown’s documentary heritage collections, principally the Alexander Turnbull Library, which includes a comprehensive collection of documents relating to New Zealand and the people of New Zealand;
  • To make the National Library’s collections accessible in order to provide for the most advantageous use of those collections and resources;
  • To provide other services that include access to information resources and bibliographic and school services;
  • To promote cooperation and work collaboratively with others on library matters within New Zealand and overseas; and
  • To advise and assist the Minister Responsible for the National Library on library and information issues.