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Issue #21, December 2013

Download a text only version of Ngā Tapuwae.

Greg’s Introduction

Greg Goulding

I have been in Europe recently at the Forum of National Archivists and took the opportunity to check out the digitisation programme the UK National Archive is running. Like Archives New Zealand they are keen to have as much information online as possible and at the same time present the originals to people in the reading room.

You can read about the latest drive to get more World War One records online both here and in Australia in this issue of Ngā Tapuwae. And the preservation project to make John Kendrick’s renowned sound recordings readily available online is significant. The bird songs we hear regularly on National Radio are part and parcel of everyday life in New Zealand and I am thrilled these and the stories behind how the recordings were made are coming to life via Archway.

I am pleased to report the Christchurch repository will be back to its normal opening hours from 16 December. This has been an extraordinary accomplishment for the Christchurch team working in an archive that sustained some considerable earthquake damage and was for some time cordoned off.

We are in negotiations to open a new repository on the Canterbury University campus and you can also find out more about this here.

After the forum I attended the International Council on Archives annual conference and as always found we have a great deal in common with our international counterparts as we strive to work with our customers to assist them in the important role of recordkeeping and information management.

Rolling the mandatory recordkeeping standards into one and setting up client-based portfolios will help us do this more effectively.

As this is the final Ngā Tapuwae for the year I wish you all warm season’s greetings and a restful holiday break with family and friends.

All the best Greg

Iconic New Zealand nature recordings made available

Rosie Rowe

Audio Visual Preservation Specialist Rosie Rowe shows how the sounds are digitally recorded.

Hearing the dawn chorus has a special significance for Film and Audio Visual Preservation Specialist Rosie Rowe who is currently delving into the archives to make John Kendrick’s renowned sound recordings readily available online.

Conservationist Kendrick, who died earlier this year, spent some 20 years recording the sounds of New Zealand wildlife and his specialist bird sounds are heard daily on Radio New Zealand.

“While his bird sounds are well known he also recorded the sounds of rain hammering the bush as well as those of seals, deer, New Zealand’s native bat and the North Island Blue Penguin,” says Rosie.

“His recording of the tuatara is unique – largely because they hardly make a sound and the recording he made is believed to be the only one available.”

The recordings are all on ¼ inch tape, polyester stock vulnerable to oxidation, and Rosie has the task of digitising the material to ensure its safe future. This involves, checking for physical damage, replacing splices or leader and cleaning them prior to digitising to international standards at 24 BIT @ 96 kHz.

Fortunately Kendrick was a meticulous record keeper and this makes Rosie’s job easier.

“Included in the 12 boxes of records are informative queue cards which will be scanned and available with the recordings on Archives online finding aid Archway and stored in the digital archive,” says Rosie.

“Coupled with the recording’s history – nature of the sound and time and place, he includes the tape speed and the type of microphone used. This is amazing detail for someone who was self-taught.

“Added to this, many were made on Little Barrier Island which is extremely difficult terrain – Kendrick was extraordinarily fit. He went from one end of the country to the other to record with killer whales and snow petrels a feature of his trip to Antarctica.”

While largely Kendrick’s work W Ward and K Bigwood also feature in the collection as sound recordist during the 1960s and 1980s.

For Rosie delving into the collection is a wonderful experience.

“Unlike other media – radio and television, these recordings are uncut and full of sweet surprises as a result,” she says. “He even played the sounds back to the birds to gauge their reaction.

“The most rewarding aspect of preserving them is the idea that you have not only preserved the record, but all the hard work JL Kendrick invested into these recordings, and you can feel that while listening. Also, knowing once sent to the GDA, it’s preserved potentially forever, making them available to anyone who is interested. A total win, win.”

To date Rosie has completed 85 of the total 354 reels. With a further 269 to go she hopes to finish the project by early next year.

Check out her top picks:

Christchurch archive rebuilding plans underway

At the MoU signing, left to right, front row Canterbury University Vice Chancellor Dr Rod Carr and Department of Internal Affairs Deputy Chief Executive Sue Powell; back row Canterbury University Director of Learning Resources Alex Hanlon, Canterbury University Registrar Jeff Field, Chief Archivist Greg Goulding, and Christchurch Regional Archivist Chris Adam.

Rebuilding the Archives New Zealand Christchurch repository took a significant step forward last month when a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with Canterbury University representatives.

While structurally sound, the Peterborough Street building has been compromised as a national archive repository by the February 2011 and subsequent earthquakes.

“The MoU signifies a commitment to work towards providing our facilities within a building in a prominent position on the Ilam Campus,” says Christchurch Regional Archivist Chris Adam. 

“We are looking to share a building with the university and with the New Zealand Sound Archive,” he says.

“This will be beneficial to us all, as well as students and researchers wanting to use the archives. The archive will still be accessible to our current researchers and we are confident it will also bring us a new client base both within and beyond the university.

“We hope if the proposal gains final approval a new facility will be ready before the end of 2015.”

Christchurch office returns to normal opening hours

Normal full-time opening hours resume for the public reading room of Archives New Zealand's Christchurch office from 16 December 2013. The hours are: 9.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday, with last orders by 4.30pm; the office is closed on public holidays.

Limited hours have been in place due to the Christchurch earthquakes and the affect these had on the shelving.

Regional Archivist Chris Adam says, “the good news is the shelving has been rebuilt and the archives which were in offsite storage since 2011 have been returned to the building, with the exception of some little-used holdings.

“While these will remain offsite there will be no charge to retrieve items from storage and make them available in our reading room. “

Chris advises people visiting the office from outside Christchurch to contact staff well in advance to ensure the items required are available on the day of any visit. Please email, or phone: 03 377 0760.

The "Order" button on Archway, the online finding aid, will be re-activated on 16 December 2013, enabling registered readers to pre-order up to five items for viewing in the reading room. Again, please pre-order well in advance, if you are planning to visit from out of town.

More World War One records available online

New Zealand and Australian soldiers raise the flag at a café in Paris with Ettie Rout

New Zealand and Australian soldiers raise the flag at a café in Paris with Ettie Rout. Archives reference: ACHU 19290, MISC30/13, R22311848.

Australia and New Zealand are further commemorating the Anzac centenary by providing a shared archive of World War One records.

Developed by the National Archives of Australia the Discovering Anzacs website went live last month and the Archives New Zealand World War One records will be available on the site from April 2014.

Find out more in the joint announcement from Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain and Australia’s Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis.

More information about the Anzac project and how to get involved.

Australians and New Zealanders join forces in the Imperial Camel Corps in Sinai/Palestine

Australians and New Zealanders join forces in the Imperial Camel Corps in Sinai/Palestine. Archives reference:  AAME 8106, 11/17/11, R20939662.

At the YMCA canteen in Cairo, Egypt, New Zealand and Australia soldiers are served by women from the NZ Volunteer Sisterhood

At the YMCA canteen in Cairo, Egypt, New Zealand and Australia soldiers are served by women from the NZ Volunteer Sisterhood.  Archive reference: ACHU 19290, MISC30/13, R22311848.

Making it easier for the customer

Derek Clear

Derek Clear, Senior Adviser Recordkeeping.

The four mandatory recordkeeping standards to assist public offices and local authorities manage their business records effectively are being rolled into one.

For Derek Clear, pulling together the new Records Management Standard has been a full on and rewarding job, spiked with fun.

“We wanted to make the standards easier for our clients to understand and follow,” says Derek.

“Combining them into one single standard means we’ve been able to cut back on duplication and present the standards together in a simple and straight forward manner.”

One year in the making Derek says involving clients has been integral to developing the standard.

“Consultation has been a huge part of the finished product,” he says. “It’s been essential to find out what works for our clients to better assist them get on with this important job.”

This has involved guidance from an advisory group (made up of representatives from public sector organisations and professional associations), public consultation via the website and a roadshow up and down the country.

“Meeting people passionate about information management is awesome and it’s been fun getting out of the office in order to do this,” Derek says.

Recordkeeping standards are a requirement of the Public Records Act 2005 and for public sector staff the new combined standard will be easier to work with and implement.

Replacing the Create and Maintain Recordkeeping Standard, the Disposal Standard, the Electronic Recordkeeping Metadata Standard and the Storage Standard the Records Management Standard will be available for use from December – check the website for details.

National Digital Forum

Senior Archivist Zhimin Ding finds out more about what’s coming up next year to mark the 100 anniversary of World War One at the WW100 heritage site from Janine Boon, Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

More than 300 people from New Zealand and overseas attended the two-day National Digital Forum which brings together people from the digital and culture and heritage sectors, including museums, art galleries, libraries and archives.

Andy Neale, Manager Digital New Zealand and National Digital Forum Board Chair said the conference is always a great place for people to see what others are doing and to network and share ideas about digital culture and what this means for the future.

“It’s networks like the NDF that help us do more than what we can do on our own,” he says. “The NDF continues to grow from strength to strength and the forum is a place to learn from others, discuss new ways of doing things and challenge our current thoughts.”

Held at Te papa Archives New Zealand and National Library staff were well represented at the forum as presenters, participants and staffing the two interactive stands.

Keynote speaker Simon Tanner, Director of Digital Consulting King’s College London, invited the audience to take a fresh look at the way things were done and said the outcome and impact of anything achieved was what counted.

To check out the presentations have a look at the National Digital Forum website and the regular conference updates.

UNESCO Memory of the World

Three new inscriptions join heritage documents and manuscripts from Archives New Zealand and the National Library on the UNESCO Memory of the World New Zealand register of documentary heritage.

Announced on 28 November the three new inscriptions are the Sir Edmund Hillary Archive, the original score and lyrics of God Defend New Zealand and the personal and literary papers of Charles Brasch

They join four Archives New Zealand holdings – the 1840 Tiriti o Waitangi and the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition (the first two items inscribed on the New Zealand register), the National Film Unit Weekly Review and Pictorial Parade and the Māori Land Court minute books; and the Douglas Lilburn Overture Aotearoa held at the Alexander Turnbull Library

Both Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Women’s Suffrage Petition are also on the International Memory of the World register and you can find out more on the New Zealand Memory of the World Register website.

New system improves client relationships

Denise Williams

Denise Williams, Manager Disposal and Acquisition.

Providing better service is behind Archives New Zealand’s Disposal and Acquisition team’s move to set-up a portfolio management system to work with clients across the wider public and government sector.

“Because of our previously reactive response to client needs, many clients often found themselves working with a number of different people on different topics at any given time,” Denise Williams says.

“They may have called us about one thing or another and gone from person to person to get the information they need,” she says.

“While our client relationships are often complex, when we looked at how we were managing them we realised we could do a whole lot better. In addition we did not understand our clients and their business well enough to give good constructive advice.

“By providing them with one go to person and proactively managing the relationship we can better help them manage their issues and provide the leadership, advice and information they need when they want it.”

Denise says each team member is now responsible for a group of clients covering two or three sectors such as health and education.

The goal is to partner with the agency through the appraisal process (sorting out which archives come to the archives and which can be disposed of) from beginning to end. Business concerns are discussed as they arise, so when appraisal reports are formally submitted they contain no surprises or unnecessary roadblocks for either party. The same advisor will then facilitate the transfer process and help support disposal schedule implementation.

“This move to an account management system has been good for the customers – we’ve had positive feedback, and it’s also been good for the team – team members are making new contacts and establishing new networks as a result,” says Denise.

For more information contact Denise, phone 495 6225 or email

At the Archives New Zealand stand, Branch Development and Support Manager Kristina Wickham chats to Senior Archivist David Sanderson.

Alan Ferris, Manager Archives Online and NDF board member, discusses digitisation projects with Karaitiana Taiuru, from the New Zealand Māori Internet Society.

Alan Ferris, Manager Archives Online and NDF board member, discusses digitisation projects with Karaitiana Taiuru, from the New Zealand Māori Internet Society.

Archive of the Moment: Royal Tour Turns 60

A booklet on the Royal Tour of 1953-54.

December marks the 60th Anniversary of the first royal tour of New Zealand when Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip came to visit.

The Royal Tour of 1953-1954 was a huge event for New Zealanders. Just six months after her Coronation, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip toured New Zealand, visiting 46 towns and cities attending 110 separate functions.

This was the first time a reigning monarch had set foot in New Zealand and it was a hugely popular never-to-be forgotten event for children and families who would long recall the BIG Day of actually "seeing" the young Queen.

Some people were so excited they travelled the country to see the Queen as many times as they could.

Records relating to the tour are available in Archway.

This National Film Unit film gives a good account of the visit.

Bites and Bytes


You are reading the second edition of the new-look Ngā Tapuwae which we have made easy to for you to get in future. All you need to do is sign-up and next year’s February edition will arrive directly into your mailbox.

Tweeting about

The Archives New Zealand twitter feed (@ArchivesNZ) is a great place to go to check-out what happened way back when and the impact these events have had in our lives and the shape of New Zealand today.

Holding Music History in Your Hands: Why Archives Matter

United States National Public Radio investigates the question “What are lost sounds worth?”  George Washington University professor Gayle Wald notes: “Archives are not just places people go for information; they can and do change our approach to, and determine the questions we ask of, music, the music industry, and musical scenes.”

Born Digital Guidance

Born Digital: Guidance for Donors, Dealers, and Archival Repositories has recommendations to help ensure the physical and intellectual well-being of materials created and managed in the digital space. Published by the Council on Library and Information Resources the report is available as a free PDF download.

Information source

Check out the Library and Archives Canada regular newsletter Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World for updated global information.