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Ngā Tapuwae August 2011

Message from the Chief Archivist

`Greg Goulding
Greg Goulding
Chief Archivist and General Manager
Archives New Zealand
This edition of Ngā Tapuwae shows the depth and breadth of our business both in the work we are doing to assist public offices better manage their information and in the records we hold bringing to life our history and culture.

The impact of the Canterbury earthquakes on the people and businesses in the region remains topmost in our minds.

Archives New Zealand staff have been in contact with public offices about records affected by these natural disasters. As Chief Archivist I was pleased to give my approval this month for a new Earthquake Disposal Authority covering Canterbury region. Public offices with lost and damaged records will need to apply to use the disposal authority and we will help them with the application process. This authority enables me to ensure that records of high value are given appropriate consideration for salvage, and is a formal notification of the extent of record loss caused by the earthquakes.

The earthquakes have shown the importance of disaster preparedness and response. One of my recommendations in the Chief Archivist’s Annual Report on the State of Government Recordkeeping 2010 is for public offices to develop and regularly test disaster recovery and business continuity plans for their records. This theme has been taken up in presentations by staff at recordkeeping conferences and forums – the Pacific Branch of the International Council on Archives (PARBICA) 14th biennial conference in Samoa, and closer to home, the Government Recordkeeping forum in Wellington at the beginning of next month.

Another date for the calendar is the second international digital continuity conference Future Perfect which will be held in Wellington from 26-27 March 2012. With the increasing number of records in digital format it is crucial to ensure we have the business systems in place to manage these records today and into the future.

Digitisation of records means greater access to many more people – the latest development will see probates in our Christchurch office being digitised in a partnership with FamilySearch.

The Archives New Zealand banner will be standing tall at the New Zealand Society of Genealogists’ fair in Hamilton, with staff from Auckland and Wellington representing us and promoting our services.
The Community Archive team recently held its first archiving workshop for Pacific peoples in Wellington – extending its visibility and profile in the wider community. Those who attended the workshop were enthusiastic and grateful for the support and interest we have shown in their collections. We look forward to building on this relationship in the future.
More detailed information about our work follows in this edition of Ngā Tapuwae.

All the best

Be Prepared for Disasters says Chief Archivist's Report

Having a disaster plan in place to prevent the loss of vital records is one of the key recommendations in the Chief Archivist’s Annual Report on the State of Government Recordkeeping 2010.

Chief Archivist Greg Goulding said the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 were unfortunately a timely reminder of the impact natural disasters can have on valuable records. In light of this public offices should have plans to prepare for and manage the effects of natural disasters on their records and information.
“Many public records were lost or damaged as a result of these earthquakes, but having a regularly tested disaster recovery plan in place helps to mitigate this loss as well as the disruption to business continuity,” Greg Goulding says.

“To assist in the rescue and recovery of these public records Archives New Zealand has developed the Canterbury Earthquakes Disposal Authority.
“This will support public offices with records located in the Canterbury region to apply for authorisation under s20 of the Public Records Act 2005 for their final destruction, or archiving.
“While natural disasters have significant and visible effects, disasters can occur in many forms. For example the loss of information can be due to systems breakdowns. Appropriate disaster recovery/business continuity planning based on risk assessment can assist in both prevention and response.”
Greg Goulding said effective plans should be continually updated to reflect changes to business processes and systems to ensure they remained up-to-date and comprehensive.
Another key recommendation covers the need to ensure information is well managed during times of changes within the public sector.

“In this world of constant change it is more important than ever for public sector agencies to develop good information management frameworks to ensure continuity of government services and continued accountability of government,” Greg Goulding says.
“Both the structure and the technology used to deliver services are changing. Public offices must consider their recordkeeping requirements in this changing environment.
“Public offices should ensure they have robust recordkeeping frameworks for both physical and digital records.”
Other recommendations set out to ensure:

In the five years since the passing of the Public Records Act 2005 the report notes that significant progress has been made in public sector recordkeeping practices.
However, the implementation of disposal authorities is identified as a major area for improvement. Regular and routine disposal of public records is a key way to improve business efficiency.
Managing information for only as long as it is required reduces storage costs and saves unnecessary time managing records that are no longer required.

Mr Goulding says many historic records of value to New Zealand are held in public offices throughout the country. Transferring them to Archives New Zealand eases the burden on public offices to care for these records and lets them focus on their core business.

Tabled in Parliament in June this sixth report into the state of government recordkeeping is available on Archives New Zealand’s website

Canterbury Earthquakes Disposal Authority

The Canterbury Earthquake Disposal Authority is part of Archives New Zealand’s response to public sector offices wanting assistance with managing their records affected by the earthquakes, says Greg Goulding Chief Archivist Archives New Zealand.
Archives New Zealand has developed the new authority to assist public offices to appropriately dispose of records damaged or destroyed in the Canterbury earthquakes of September 2010 and February and June 2011.

The Chief Archivist authorised the disposal authority this month. “Public offices need to apply to use it and we will help them with the application process,” he said.

Issued under section 20 of the Public Records Act 2005, the disposal authority applies to the following classes of records:

The disposal authority and process enables public offices to request retrospective and/or prospective disposal authorisation of their records impacted by the Canterbury earthquakes. It also provides the Chief Archivist with the opportunity to ensure that records of high value are given appropriate consideration for salvage, and is a formal notification of the extent of record loss caused by the earthquakes.
The disposal authority takes into account the requirements of other legislation including the Civil Defence Emergency Act 2002, the Building Act 2004 and the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.

A similar process is being put in place to assist local authorities in obtaining disposal authorisation for their affected records.
For further information about the disposal authority, contact Lisa Austin, Adviser, Appraisal, Archives New Zealand, email

Auckland input into digital archive vital

Some 30 people, including information specialists from the public sector, local bodies, universities and district health boards, are expected to attend the first Government Digital Archive workshop in Auckland on 1 September.

At the workshop, the Government Digital Archive: Securing Today’s Information for Tomorrow attendees will be given an overview of the digital archive programme, current progress and hear more about digital preservation.

An interactive session is set to find out what clients expectations for the digital archive are and for them to find out more about they can contribute to its success. 
 Monica Greenan
“Our first foray into Auckland is an important one for the programme team,” said Monica Greenan, Senior Adviser Digital Continuity (pictured above).

“A number of clients who will be using the digital archive are based in Auckland and its surrounds and it’s essential for us to gain their input into the programme,” she said.

Funding of $12.6 million for the Government Digital Archive was allocated by Government in Budget 2010 and the archive is on track to take the first digital content in 2013.

The Auckland workshop will be held in the Waitemata Conference Room on Level 3 Auckland Central Library 42-44 Lorne Street.
People interested in attending, please RSVP before 26 August 2011.

International conference on digital preservation here next year

Archives New Zealand is hosting an international conference on digital preservation in Wellington in March next year and is currently calling for contributions.
Future Perfect 2012: Digital Preservation by Design will be of interest to information technologists, records and information managers, enterprise content architects, developers, academics, librarians and archivists.
Mick Crouch
Conference convenor Mick Crouch (pictured above), who works in the Digital Continuity team, says the conference will examine how successful preservation of digital content relies on upfront integration of preservation requirements into systems design.
“In the last few years the size and diversity of digital content has grown,” he says.
“To make sure preservation requirements are met we need to actively influence the development of a wide variety of tools to better manage this growth.
“Tapping into current digital preservation experience and research will help us maximise developments and ensure digital material created today will be available for as long as it’s needed.”

Mick Crouch says the conference is aimed at people with an interest in digital preservation, digital continuity, open standards and open data (particularly government data), metadata, public sector information, technology management and archiving.

A call for contributions started at the beginning of August and closes at the end of the month. Proposals for original presentations and demonstrations on digital preservation topics, include, but are not limited to:

Anyone wanting to discuss a topic idea before submitting a proposal should contact Mick at
Next year’s conference follows on from the first international digital continuity conference held in Wellington last year. This conference attracted over 200 delegates from across Australasia and from as far a field as Saudi Arabia.
Registrations for next year’s conference, at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa on 26-27 March, will be opening in October 2011. For more details about the conference visit the website.

Digital continuity and standards showcased at ALGIM symposium

The importance of preserving records and archives at both central and local government level was up for discussion at the fourth annual Association of Local Government Information Management (ALGIM) Records Management Symposium.
The symposium brings together local and central government records and archives practitioners to share knowledge, recognise innovation, and develop professional knowledge and skills with Archives New Zealand staff delivering a variety of workshops. Topics covered the digital continuity of information in a changing environment to how Public Records Act 2005 standards can help local authorities; and from preserving social media to a futuristic glimpse of a local government digital archive.
The line-up of speakers included Brendan Boyle, Chief Executive Department of Internal Affairs and Hon Nathan Guy Minister Responsible for Archives New Zealand.
Nathan Guy
Hon Nathan Guy, Minister Responsible for Archives New Zealand.
Nathan Guy said, “In a democracy, records and archives help protect the rights and entitlements of citizens. They support accountability, transparency, and evidence-based decision making.
“The Public Records Act 2005, which sets the framework for information management and recordkeeping in New Zealand, is just as important for local authorities as it is for government.
“Saving, storing and maintaining records is not without its challenges though. An Archives New Zealand survey last year into local government recordkeeping practices found that 55 per cent of local authorities have records in a format they can no longer access.
“On the positive side, there is growing awareness of this problem and a determination to tackle it.
“Some 92 per cent of respondents said they have a formal recordkeeping programme in place, or are working towards one. “
The Minister referred to Brendan Boyle’s earlier comments on open government and making information more widely available to many more people.
He said the website, run by Internal Affairs, makes non-personal government more discoverable, useable and relevant to New Zealanders.
The Minister praised local authorities for making their geospatial data available for re-use.

“Collaboration between local authorities means you can leverage the cost of good record management across your organisation.”
The Minister congratulated ALGIM for receiving the 2010 International Excellence in Municipal Systems Award for its innovative Information Management Toolkit.
“This award recognises the time and effort you put into developing the toolkit which is now recognised and used both here and overseas – with more than 80 per cent of New Zealand councils using it in their day to day activities and strategic information management planning.

Speakers’ presentations: view the ALGIM 2011 Records Management Symposium speaker presentations.
Symposium highlights
Other highlights from the symposium included:


Recordkeeping roundup - DHBs and disaster preparedness

An interactive information session for district health board staff and a forum on disaster response and planning are top billing for Archives New Zealand’s Government Recordkeeping Programme in the coming month.
A day for DHBs
Records management staff from the country’s district health boards will be able to discuss their issues and concerns with Archives recordkeeping staff at the session on Friday 26 August at Archives New Zealand in Wellington.
Presentations from Archives New Zealand staff will bring attendees up to date on some of the latest developments including the Audit process for public offices and Digital Continuity activities.
“The forum is co-organised with Waikato DHB and we are expecting 30 people from DHB's across New Zealand,” says Karamdeep Sahota, Adviser, Government Recordkeeping Group.

Preparing for disaster – theme of Wellington recordkeeping forum
With record attendances in Auckland and Dunedin, Archives New Zealand’s Recordkeeping Forum: Are You Ready? Planning for and Responding to Disaster will be held in Wellington on 7 September.
“The forum aims to remind people about being prepared for a disaster and raise their awareness of the risks of not being ready and help them to form a response plan for any type of a disaster,” says the forum organiser Karamdeep Sahota.

Presenters at the forum include: Mike Chapman Information and Democratic Services Manager, Porirua City Council, David Ashman, Preservation Manager at Auckland Libraries, Denise Thompson, Team Leader Records and Archives, Environment Canterbury. Chris Adam the Christchurch Regional Archivist will discuss managing the archives of Christchurch through a disaster.
 The forum will be held on Wednesday 7 September at the James Cook Hotel, The Terrace, Wellington, from 1pm to 4pm.
 For further information and to register online go to Archives New Zealand website.

Digitisation standard up for review 

Archives New Zealand is reviewing its Digitisation Standard and the disposal arrangements for source records that have been digitised to ensure their relevance to the current and future digital environment.
“The review aims to help agencies realise the benefits of digitisation, and to streamline disposal processes,” says Patrick Power, Government Recordkeeping Programme Manager, Archives New Zealand.
The Standard and its companion general disposal authority (GDA5) were first issued in 2007. The review, to be carried out by Government Recordkeeping Programme over the next nine months, will investigate the processes in other countries. An advisory group will be established and formal consultation with public offices, local authorities, and other stakeholders will be part of the process.
For further information about the Digitisation Standard or the review, contact Simon Caseley, Senior Adviser, Government Recordkeeping Programme, Archives New Zealand, email

Cultural survival a focus for first Pacific archiving workshop

Accessing and preserving their archival history is critical to the cultural survival of Pacific communities in New Zealand, and was a driver behind the first Pacific Archive workshop hosted by Archives New Zealand’s Community Archives Group.
Seventeen community leaders from Wellington-based Pacific ethnicities including Tokelau, Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga and Samoa took part in the workshop held at Archives Wellington office on 30 June.
Archives New Zealand’s Community Archives Senior Adviser Lafaele Lupo says the workshop, Raising the Awareness and Building Pacific Communities Archival Capacity, was developed after Community Archives learnt about the Tokelau community’s efforts in building an archive to store information relating to their people, community and country.

“We were also asked for advice by PACIFIC Inc, the national organisation of Pacific women to sort through their records that have been gathered over 30 years, and to assist Vahine Orama PACIFICA Newtown branch, to recommence their oral history project.”
Pacific peoples workshop
Presenters and participants at the Pacific People's workshop.

Workshop presenters
Pacific communities received information on the services provided by Archives New Zealand and other agencies within the Department of Internal Affairs to help them research their history and preserve their collections, records and other cultural treasures for future generations.
David Sanderson (Archives New Zealand) demonstrated the basics of digitising documents without using expensive equipment or complicated software.

Linda Evans (Alexander Turnbull Library ATL) outlined the background of ATL, the processes and systems of recording oral histories as well as some of the Pacific oral history projects ATL is involved in.

Keryn Martin (Senior Advisēr of Funding and Community Development) presented the funding module of the workshop. He advised on available funding to support not only communities’ archival projects, but other community projects to enhance the capacity of community groups.

They were joined by Ken Scadden, Archives Manager for the Society of Mary’s Archives who covered the basic principles and concept of records and archives, how to set up an archive, the value of good recordkeeping now and for the future and some fundamentals of researching information.

Pacific languages

Participants identified the deteriorating state of Pacific languages as an example of a treasure that is causing real concern in communities. The majority of people from Niue, Tokelau and the Cook Islands live in Aotearoa, yet less than 15 per cent of their New Zealand born population speak their own language.

Dr Iuta Tinielu representing the Tokelau community said, “losing our language means we will lose our culture and our cultural identity. Pacific communities must find ways and tools that will enable us to preserve and maintain our language, culture and things that are important to our people.”

Rev Tavita Filemoni representing the Fraternal of Church Ministers in Wellington said, “our very existence as Pacific peoples is reliant on us ensuring that our history and our culture are preserved and safeguarded.”
Significant holdings

Currently Archives New Zealand holds thousands of documents relating to the Pacific region, some dating back to the 18th century. These records include details of historical events, relationships between Pacific countries and their previous administration such as Germany, New Zealand, Britain and USA, lands and titles, and family history to name a few. Most of the workshop attendees were not aware of this information.

“Finding out about this information is significant for me personally and for my community. I never thought that such information existed right here in New Zealand. I am very grateful for the opportunity to find this out now,” said Rev Maleko.
Gabby Makisi (President Newtown PACIFICA) summed it up well when she said, “Archives New Zealand is crucial to our people and community in preserving our cultural identity in New Zealand. Pacific history is steeped in oral tradition, our heritage, our language, our stories and our past is reliant on our ability to preserve it for our children and our future generations.”
“Archives New Zealand and our colleagues from the National Library and Community Operations welcomed the opportunity to assist and support the Pacific communities in achieving their aspirations,” Lafaele Lupo said. “Thank you also to Ken Scadden for his valuable participation.”

Ngati Rangitihi iwi project an important step in history

Working with Archives New Zealand is an important step in the history of our iwi, and one that is welcomed with open arms, says Thomas Mason (Toma) iwi researcher for the Ngati Rangitihi digitisation project.

Based in Archives New Zealand’s Wellington office, Toma is working with Responsiveness to Māori and Community Archives staff (RTM and CA). He has also received training from Archives’ staff in preservation and digitisation techniques, and arrangement and description.
Community Archives RTM team
Tomas Mason (third from left) with the Responsiveness to Māori and Community Archives team: (from left) Awhimai Brown Adminstrator, Jolene Armadoros acting Manager, Tikina Heremia Researcher, Julie Black Senior Adviser RTM and Lafaele Lupo Senior Adviser Community Archives.

Toma says, “the research focuses on archives relevant to Ngati Rangitihi pre-1940 particularly Tarawera, Matata, Kaingaroa and the Māori Land Court (MLC) minute books. Retracing items such as whakapapa through records will prove beneficial now and in the future. Ngati Rangitihi believes this project is a huge step forward for our people and a good opportunity to strengthen our ties with government agencies.”

The fourth iwi initiated project undertaken by the RTM/CA group since 2008, the Ngati Rangitihi project continues Archives New Zealand commitment to Māori as Treaty partners under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and enables Archives New Zealand to deliver services which are effective and appropriate for Māori.

“This project provides Ngati Rangitihi with the opportunity to access our services, skills and support which affirms and enhances their cultural identity and enables Māori to succeed as Māori in Te Ao Māori (the Māori world) and Te Ao Hurihuri (the changing world),” said Julie Black, RTM Senior Adviser.

Toma is providing regular updates on progress of the project to his iwi Ngati Rangitihi with snapshots of the information he uncovers. Ngati Rangitihi hopes to complete this particular project by 2012.

With a growing passion in the development of Māori, Toma has welcomed the opportunities presented by this project in terms of the benefits it will bring for Ngati Rangitihi in the future and for him to learn as a researcher.

Rangitihi was a direct descendent of Tamatekapua, the captain of the Arawa waka and ancestors of the Te Arawa people of the Rotorua lakes district. Te Arawa iwi and hapu can trace their descent from Rangitihi’s eight children known as Nga Pumanawa o Te Arawa the eight beating hearts of Te Arawa.

Today, Ngati Rangitihi and its hapū lay claim to much of the Rotorua lakes district from Lake Tarawera, east through the Kaingaroa forest, north towards the eastern Bay of Plenty coast to Matata and Otamarakau, then south through Lake Rotoiti encompassing other lakes and back through to Lake Tarawera.

The heart of Ngati Rangitihi is said to be Matata, a small coastal township on the eastern Bay of Plenty where many of their people now reside. Recent and past events within the iwi of Ngati Rangitihi has seen a great need for the revitalisation and further strengthening of Ngati Rangitihi as an iwi. 

Gold fields exhibition going online

An online version of the successful exhibition Refer to Gold Fields Secretary held at Archives New Zealand's Dunedin Regional Office in March will showcase records from the early days of gold mining in the Otago Region to the world.
Originally curated as a physical exhibition in partnership with the Dunedin Heritage Festival - Refer to Gold Fields Secretary: Administration of the Otago Gold Fields - will highlight digital reproductions of archives from the Otago Provincial Government and the Lawrence Warden’s Court that illustrate the various ways in which they managed the gold rushes from the 1860s.
Archives New Zealand’s Dunedin Regional Archivist Peter Miller says, “the exhibition also features records illustrating the often complex relationship between Chinese mining communities and the gold fields’ bureaucracy, along with records relating to one of Otago’s earliest and most audacious gang of bandits.”
Documents on display will include digital reproductions of original letters from Gabriel Read to Superintendent Richardson of the Otago Provincial Government dating from the earliest days of the Tuapeka Gold Field, along with letter books, registers and other historically significant correspondence from the Otago Provincial Government; various licensing registers and other records from the Lawrence Warden’s Court; the “Chinese Petition” circulated amongst the Chinese community of Queenstown in 1872, demanding the removal of the locality’s Warden; and a digital facsimile of a very intricate map of the Gold Fields, dating from 1864.
The online exhibition will be available on Archives New Zealand's website next month.

Probate digitisation in Christchurch


Some of the most highly-used Canterbury and Westland archives are to be digitised as a result of a joint project between Archives New Zealand’s Christchurch office and FamilySearch.
The office holds some 187,928 probate files and these will be digitised later in the year by FamilySearch volunteers beginning with the 35,121 files from the Timaru High Court.
Christchurch Regional Archivist Chris Adam says Archives New Zealand is committed to moving its services online to provide better and more equitable access to a valuable national and community resource.
“As part of this transformation we aim to have 90 per cent of our high-use paper archives digitised and available online by 2018,” Chris Adam says. “Working with FamilySearch to digitise the probates will help us achieve this goal.”
Michael Higgins, FamilySearch's Pacific Area Manager says these Canterbury historical records are a vital legacy for this and future generations.
"We are pleased to have this opportunity to work with our colleagues at Archives New Zealand to rebuild and preserve these historical foundations of our region."
Chris Adam explains that the Christchurch project follows on from the work already underway in Wellington national office where digitisation of its probate records has begun.
“For the past two years we have worked in partnership with FamilySearch to have these records digitised and made freely available to the public. Digitising the Canterbury and Westland probate files is the first extension of this project outside of Wellington.
“While this has been planned for some while, the timing has been determined by the Canterbury earthquakes; these have highlighted the importance and fragility of our documentary heritage.
“The probates constitute the single most used record held by the Christchurch office and account for well over half of the items requested by researchers.”
Transferred to the Christchurch office from the High Courts in Timaru, Christchurch, and Greymouth the records include all the surviving probate files from Canterbury and Westland.
The project is expected to last five years, with the first of an estimated 1,879,280 images available free of charge on the FamilySearch website from mid to late 2012.
FamilySearch is a genealogical organisation funded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

PARCBICA Conference in Samoa

Ninety-eight archivists and records managers from around the Pacific attended the 14th biennial conference and workshops of the Pacific Branch of the International Council on Archives (PARBCIA) in Apia Samoa from August 22-27.
The conference Evidence and Memory in the Digital Age will cover how to preserve fragile records through digitisation and support good information management through guidance from PARBICA. Delegates will be given good practice advice on connecting with the users of their collections and preparing for disasters.
“Archives New Zealand has a leading role in organising the event through our ongoing commitment to manage the PARBICA secretariat,” says Mark Crookston, PARBICA’s General-Secretary and Senior Adviser Archives New Zealand.
Mark Crookston and Anna Gulbransen (Adviser Government Recordkeeping Programme) are presenting workshops on Recordkeeping for Good Governance and Disaster Preparedness and Response in the Pacific. John Roberts (Acting Manager, Government Recordkeeping Group) is reporting on the impact of the Christchurch earthquakes on public records during a session on recent disasters.
The conference is funded by grants from AusAID, NZAID and the Samoan Government.

Highlighting archives at genealogists' fair

An insider's view on what’s available in the Auckland office of Archives New Zealand was presented as part of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists Fair in Hamilton on 26-27 August.
Auckland Regional Archivist Mark Stoddart put together a PowerPoint presentation which highlights some of the holdings in the Auckland repository.

“With their interest in their own family history and other stories from the past genealogists are regular and valued customers for us,” says Mark Stoddart.

“The two-day fair was an opportunity to showcase our holdings as well as help people to access material remotely by using our online finding aid Archway. It was also an opportunity for us to get out of the office to find out how genealogists view our services and gain their ideas on how the service could be improved. We also learnt more about the ways in which our records are being used and other sources of information relating to particular interests that are available in other institutions.

“We have government department archives from the 1840s covering the northern half of the North Island. Our key holdings focus on land, gold mining, railways, health, education, forestry, police, communications, Māori schools, customs and marine. As well we have court records and those from Agent General Auckland, Auckland Provincial Government and New Zealand Insurance Company and its subsidiaries.”

Archivists Donal Raethel and Deirdre Ayrton were onhand at Archives New Zealand display stand at the nationwide Family History Fair at the Claudelands Event Centre to answer questions about Archives New Zealand’s holding and assist with searches via Archway.

The national fair was an opportunity to highlight the wealth of material held by Archives New Zealand which makes a valuable contribution to our history and culture.
Mark Stoddart
Pictured above: Mark Stoddart (standing) assists visitors to the Archives New Zealand display stand at the Family History Fair in Hamilton.


Celebrating women's suffrage 

Womern's suffrage
Wellingtonians and visitors to the capital can pop into Archives New Zealand during September to find out whether they have a family connection to the world’s first suffrage petition.
Find out whether your great-grandma (or great-grandad) was a suffragist and signed the 1893 petition at the special suffrage display at the Wellington office in Mulgrave Street, Thorndon from 12 September.
You can also see the original petition assembled by Kate Sheppard and rolled down the central aisle of Parliament. A treasured national document the petition is on display in the Constitution Room along with the nation’s founding document the 1840 Tiriti o Waitangi.
Both these documents are on UNESCO’s International Memory of the World Register and in June this year were formally recognised on the inaugural UNESCO New Zealand Memory of the World Register.

In 1893 New Zealand was the first country in the world where women won the right to vote in national elections. The suffrage movement was this country’s first truly mass movement – mobilising tens of thousands of New Zealanders with rallies and a series of massive petitions.
The petition was signed by nearly 32,000 New Zealanders. Nearly 24,000 of those signatures have survived on the copy of the petition presented to Parliament.
Celebrations will be held throughout the country with a Ministerial launch in Parliament on Monday 19 September. Libraries in Waiuku, Whangaparoa, Warkworth, Thames, Whanganui, Palmerston North, Lower Hutt, Dunedin, and Invercargill will be hosting displays and people will be able to check the petition online to see if there is a family connection.
Find out more about the 1893 <a href="">Women&rsquo;s Suffrage Petition </a>from Archives New Zealand and the <a href="">NZ&nbsp;History online </a>(Ministry for Culture and Heritage).</p>

A plus for Archives' research resources

`Records management students
Victoria University records management students (pictured above) learnt first-hand about the Archives New Zealand recordkeeping standard setting programme when they visited the Archives national office in Wellington earlier this month.
The visit was organised by Senior Lecturer, Archives and Records Management School of Information Management Dr Gillian Oliver following the School’s relocation from the Kelburn campus to Rutherford House, near the Archives New Zealand building in Thorndon.
“My students are studying records and archival management and this was a good opportunity to take them into the Wellington office to learn about the government recordkeeping programme,” Gillian Oliver said. “They certainly enjoyed the visit, and were very appreciative of the opportunity.”
Wellington-based students often have their first Archives’ experience through a guided tour of our repository, said Donal Rathael Access Services archivist and tour coordinator. The tours introduce students to the holdings and provide details on how to use Archway and other finding aids to assist with their studies.
Archives New Zealand’s extensive holdings of government records date back to the 1800s. With thousands of heritage documents on hand, the repository is a valuable research resource for students and researchers of art history, film, architecture, Māori business development, Treaty of Waitangi studies, political science and post grad museum and heritage studies to name a few.
The Gateway, situated on the Wellington office ground floor provides a one-stop customer service space where the Archives’ holdings can be explored at leisure. Here many people begin the discovery of heritage documents before moving onto the reading room for dedicated research time.
The Constitution Room of the Wellington office houses the 1840 Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the 1835 Declaration of Independence of the Northern Chiefs and 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition and other heritage documents.
The Alexander Turnbull Library manuscripts and other documents from the National Library of New Zealand are also being held at Archives New Zealand while the library building is closed for redevelopment.

For further information about Archives New Zealand including the tours of our offices and how to book online, go to the Archives New Zealand website

Archive of the moment - the memory of milk

With the price of milk in the news headlines recently, a search of Archives New Zealand’s online search engine Archway has revealed 6414l files listed. These include 173 under "milk prices".
Our archival holdings on milk include text, photos, film and video, posters, maps and plans.
Many New Zealanders will have fond (or not so fond) memories of the School Milk Scheme - a world first. Introduced in 1937 by the Labour Government as part of its plans to boost the health and welfare of young New Zealanders the scheme supplied each pupil with half a pint of milk each week day. It was discontinued in 1967, mainly owing to cost.
The pamphlet (pictured) expounding the virtues of milk was included in the then Prime Minister Walter Nash's files on the 'School Milk Scheme' and can be viewed online [Archival reference: R22848653, folio 7 (400-414)]
Getting the cream
Graeme Thompson, who works in records management in Tauranga, recalls this story from his father Duncan who went to Pukemaori School in Western Southland.
`"The school was about a third of a mile up the road from Dad’s home and he went there in the late 1930s and the 1940s.
"He told me about drinking milk at school from what he called 'cans'. They were enamelled metal pint, or half-pint, handle-less mugs with lids. He said that on frosty mornings the clotted cream would push the can lids up and hi-jinks ensued as the children would try to skim the cream off without being detected by the teachers.
"The school was closed in 1970." 
If you have any stories you would like to share about the School Milk Scheme send them to: with School Milk Scheme in the subject title.
Milk leaflet

News Bytes


A menu from the complimentary dinner for the 1905 “Originals” All Blacks and photographs of other early All Black teams, from the Archives New Zealand holdings, feature in the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Museum’s new exhibition – Ruggernomics.

The free exhibition, at the museum, No 2 The Terrace, Wellington, is open until the end of March 2012. Currency from 20 rugby-playing countries is on display alongside a banknote or coin for each country, and some economic data, rugby statistics and information about its currency.

Where possible, the banknotes, such as the New Zealand $100.00, Australian $10.00 and Samoan $10.00 were chosen because of their association with rugby.

To complete the rugby theme, the museum is showing a selection of historic film footage provided by the NZ Rugby Museum in Palmerston North.
Above, from left: Anne Ridenton and Valda Pebloe, visitors to Wellington from Auckland, view the Archives New Zealand items in the Ruggernomics exhibition. Born in Australia both women have lived in New Zealand for several decades.
National Digital Forum

The 10th annual National Digital Forum conference will be held November 29-30, 2011 at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington.
The National Digital Forum (NDF) is a coalition of libraries, archives, museums, galleries, government departments and other organisations and individuals working to get New Zealand’s culture and heritage online and accessible to all. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the NDF, this year’s conference will showcase all that is exciting in the sector, and discuss the issues and opportunities that are shaping the future.

For further information and to register go to the website:

Heritage Month September 2011
Sport and Recreation is the theme of Heritage Month, September 2011 – the annual event of the Wellington Region Heritage Promotion Council. With displays and events throughout Wellington, Kapiti, Hutt Valley, Porirua and Wairarapa, there is plenty of variety for people of all ages. See the full programme online or look for a programme in your local library or community centre.

Wellington and USA making war records available online

New Zealand and the United States of America are both working to increase the accessibility of war records to the wider community.

For the first time, descriptions of the World War One and World War Two collections at the Archives of the American Field Service (AFS) and AFS Intercultural Programs (AFS Archives) are searchable online (

The AFS Archives contains documents, photographs, works of art, recordings and artefacts from the American Field Service organisation and its volunteers, men who experienced both world wars from the vantage point of ambulance drivers.

Examples of the historic events these volunteers participated in include the Battle of Verdun in 1916, and the evacuation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

Closer to home, Archives New Zealand staff have been working on digitising military personnel records from the South African War, and World War One.
Archives Support Assistant Norman Gough said, “we have digitised (made digital copies of) all personnel records for soldiers who fought in the South African War, and are now working through World War One personnel records.

“World War One and Two unit diaries are in the process of being listed onto Archives New Zealand’s online search engine, Archway,” he said.
Paul Reynolds Scholarship ‘No Numpties Award’
Paul Hayton

The inaugural winner of the Paul Reynolds Scholarship ‘No Numpties Award’ for 2011 is Paul Hayton (pictured above), Electronic Services Coordinator at Dunedin Public Libraries.

The scholarship was set up in 2010 to recognise the life and work of Paul Reynolds (1949 – 2010). Paul was a man who touched the worlds of broadcasting, publishing, libraries, museum, galleries and archives.

The scholarship was established from donations made by the National Library of New Zealand, Internet NZ and friends of Paul Reynolds. The donations are held in trust by Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa
(LIANZA), who administers the award on behalf of the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) sector. The scholarship consists of $5,000 to be used towards the costs of travel to take up international internship opportunities.
Paul will spend his two week internship at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney working with its Digital Social & Emerging Technologies Team. He will explore how the Powerhouse have embraced the rapid growth of the mobile Smartphone market, the types of digital content created, their rationale for doing so and how they measure success. He will also look at what multimedia content is being deployed via location aware mechanisms and what impact this has had on customer engagement and reported satisfaction levels.

As a requirement of the scholarship, Paul will provide a written report and will make a presentation at a suitable event.
The Award is offered every two years and is open to the GLAM sector. The next award will be promoted in 2013. For further information about the criteria for this award go to: